Exploring the role of temporoparietal cortex in upright perception and the link with torsional eye position

Jorge Otero-Millan, Ariel Winnick, Amir Kheradmand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Upright perception is a key aspect of orientation constancy, as we maintain a stable perception of the world despite continuous movements of our eyes, head, and body. Torsional position of the eyes can impact perception of upright by changing orientation of the images on the retina relative to gravity. Here, we investigated the role of temporoparietal cortex in upright perception with respect to ocular torsion, by means of the inhibitory effect of continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We used a subjective visual vertical (SVV) paradigm to track changes in upright perception, and a custom video method to track ocular torsion simultaneously. Twelve participants were tested during a lateral head tilt of 20° to the left. TMS at the posterior aspect of the supramarginal gyrus (SMGp) resulted in an average SVV shift in the opposite direction of the head tilt compared to a sham stimulation (1.8°). Ocular torsion following TMS at SMGp showed no significant change compared to the sham stimulation (-0.1°). Thus, changes in upright perception at SMGp were dissociated from ocular torsion. This finding suggests that perception of upright at SMGp is primarily related to sensory processing for spatial orientation, as opposed to subcortical regions that have direct influence on ocular torsion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number192
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Volume9
Issue numberAPR
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 2018

Keywords

  • Ocular torsion
  • Subjective visual vertical
  • Temporoparietal cortex
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • Upright perception

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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