Publication Details

Boyd Taylor, H. G., Puckett, A., Isherwood, Z. J. & Schira, M. M. (2019). Vascular effects on the BOLD response and the retinotopic mapping of hV4. PLoS ONE, 14 (6), e0204388-1-e0204388-32.


Despite general acceptance that the retinotopic organisation of human V4 (hV4) takes the form of a single, uninterrupted ventral hemifield, measured retinotopic maps of this visual area are often incomplete. Here, we test hypotheses that artefact from draining veins close to hV4 cause inverted BOLD responses that may serve to obscure a portion of the lower visual quarterfield-including the lower vertical meridian-in some hemispheres. We further test whether correcting such responses can restore the 'missing' retinotopic coverage in hV4. Subjects (N = 10) viewed bowtie, ring, drifting bar and full field flash stimuli. Functional EPIs were acquired over approximately 1.5h and analysed to reveal retinotopic maps of early visual cortex, including hV4. Normalised mean maps (which show the average EPI signal amplitude) were constructed by voxel-wise averaging of the EPI time course and used to locate venous eclipses, which can be identified by a decrease in the EPI signal caused by deoxygenated blood. Inverted responses are shown to cluster in these regions and correcting these responses improves maps of hV4 in some hemispheres, including restoring a complete hemifield map in one. A leftwards bias was found whereby 6/10 left hemisphere hV4 maps were incomplete, while this was the case in only 1/10 right hemisphere maps. Incomplete hV4 maps did not correspond with venous artefact in every instance, with incomplete maps being present in the absence of a venous eclipse and complete maps coexisting with a proximate venous eclipse. We also show that mean maps of upper surfaces (near the boundary between cortical grey matter and CSF) provide highly detailed maps of veins on the cortical surface. Results suggest that venous eclipses and inverted voxels can explain some incomplete hV4 maps, but cannot explain the remainder nor the leftwards bias in hV4 coverage reported here.

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