Estimating linear cortical magnification in human primary visual cortex via dynamic programming

Anqi Qiu, Benjamin J. Rosenau, Adam S. Greenberg, Monica K. Hurdal, Patrick Barta, Steven Yantis, Michael I. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Human primary visual cortex is organized retinotopically, with adjacent locations in cortex representing adjacent locations on the retina. The spatial sampling in cortex is highly nonuniform: the amount of cortex devoted to a unit area of retina decreases with increasing retinal eccentricity. This sampling property can be quantified by the linear cortical magnification factor, which is expressed in terms of millimeters of cortex per degree of visual angle. In this paper, we present a new method using dynamic programming and fMRI retinotopic eccentricity mapping to estimate the linear cortical magnification factor in human primary visual cortex (V1). We localized cortical activity while subjects viewed each of seven stationary contrast- reversing radial checkerboard rings of equal thickness that tiled the visual field from 1.62 to 12.96 degrees of eccentricity. Imaging data from all epochs of each ring were contrasted with data from fixation epochs on a subject-by-subject basis. The resulting t statistic maps were then superimposed on a local coordinate system constructed from the gray/white matter boundary surface of each individual subject's occipital lobe, separately for each ring. Smoothed maps of functional activity on the cortical surface were constructed using orthonormal bases of the Laplace-Beltrami operator that incorporate the geometry of the cortical surface. This allowed us to stably track the ridge of maximum activation due to each ring via dynamic programming optimization over all possible paths on the cortical surface. We estimated the linear cortical magnification factor by calculating geodesic distances between activation ridges on the cortical surface in a population of five normal subjects. The reliability of these estimates was assessed by comparing results based on data from one quadrant to those based on data from the full hemifield along with a split-half reliability analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 15 2006


  • Dynamic programming
  • Laplace-Beltrami operator
  • Linear cortical magnification
  • Retinotopic mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Estimating linear cortical magnification in human primary visual cortex via dynamic programming'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this