Effects of attention and perceptual uncertainty on cerebellar activity during visual motion perception

Baumann, Oliver and Mattingley, Jason B. (2013) Effects of attention and perceptual uncertainty on cerebellar activity during visual motion perception. The Cerebellum, 13 1: 46-54. doi:10.1007/s12311-013-0519-2

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Author Baumann, Oliver
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Effects of attention and perceptual uncertainty on cerebellar activity during visual motion perception
Journal name The Cerebellum   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1473-4222
Publication date 2013-08-28
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12311-013-0519-2
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 13
Issue 1
Start page 46
End page 54
Total pages 9
Place of publication New York, NY, United States
Publisher Springer New York
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Recent clinical and neuroimaging studies have revealed that the human cerebellum plays a role in visual motion perception, but the nature of its contribution to this function is not understood. Some reports suggest that the cerebellum might facilitate motion perception by aiding attentive tracking of visual objects. Others have identified a particular role for the cerebellum in discriminating motion signals in perceptually uncertain conditions. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to determine the degree to which cerebellar involvement in visual motion perception can be explained by a role in sustained attentive tracking of moving stimuli in contrast to a role in visual motion discrimination. While holding the visual displays constant, we manipulated attention by having participants attend covertly to a field of random-dot motion or a colored spot at fixation. Perceptual uncertainty was manipulated by varying the percentage of signal dots contained within the random-dot arrays. We found that attention to motion under high perceptual uncertainty was associated with strong activity in left cerebellar lobules VI and VII. By contrast, attending to motion under low perceptual uncertainty did not cause differential activation in the cerebellum. We found no evidence to support the suggestion that the cerebellum is involved in simple attentive tracking of salient moving objects. Instead, our results indicate that specific subregions of the cerebellum are involved in facilitating the detection and discrimination of task-relevant moving objects under conditions of high perceptual uncertainty. We conclude that the cerebellum aids motion perception under conditions of high perceptual demand.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 28 August 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 02 Oct 2013, 09:49:04 EST by Debra McMurtrie on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute