Decoding the direction of imagined visual motion using 7 T ultra-high field fMRI

Thomas C. Emmerling, Jan Zimmermann, Bettina Sorger, Martin A. Frost, Rainer Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is a long-standing debate about the neurocognitive implementation of mental imagery. One form of mental imagery is the imagery of visual motion, which is of interest due to its naturalistic and dynamic character. However, so far only the mere occurrence rather than the specific content of motion imagery was shown to be detectable. In the current study, the application of multi-voxel pattern analysis to high-resolution functional data of 12 subjects acquired with ultra-high field 7. T functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed us to show that imagery of visual motion can indeed activate the earliest levels of the visual hierarchy, but the extent thereof varies highly between subjects. Our approach enabled classification not only of complex imagery, but also of its actual contents, in that the direction of imagined motion out of four options was successfully identified in two thirds of the subjects and with accuracies of up to 91.3% in individual subjects. A searchlight analysis confirmed the local origin of decodable information in striate and extra-striate cortex. These high-accuracy findings not only shed new light on a central question in vision science on the constituents of mental imagery, but also show for the first time that the specific sub-categorical content of visual motion imagery is reliably decodable from brain imaging data on a single-subject level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-73
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroImage
Volume125
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Direction compound
Visual Cortex
Neuroimaging

Keywords

  • Decoding
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multi-voxel pattern analysis
  • Ultra-high field MRI
  • Visual mental imagery

Cite this

Decoding the direction of imagined visual motion using 7 T ultra-high field fMRI. / Emmerling, Thomas C.; Zimmermann, Jan; Sorger, Bettina; Frost, Martin A.; Goebel, Rainer.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 125, 15.01.2016, p. 61-73.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Emmerling, Thomas C. ; Zimmermann, Jan ; Sorger, Bettina ; Frost, Martin A. ; Goebel, Rainer. / Decoding the direction of imagined visual motion using 7 T ultra-high field fMRI. In: NeuroImage. 2016 ; Vol. 125. pp. 61-73.
@article{75c8df839fba43368d1ae8ff56614c0b,
title = "Decoding the direction of imagined visual motion using 7 T ultra-high field fMRI",
abstract = "There is a long-standing debate about the neurocognitive implementation of mental imagery. One form of mental imagery is the imagery of visual motion, which is of interest due to its naturalistic and dynamic character. However, so far only the mere occurrence rather than the specific content of motion imagery was shown to be detectable. In the current study, the application of multi-voxel pattern analysis to high-resolution functional data of 12 subjects acquired with ultra-high field 7. T functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed us to show that imagery of visual motion can indeed activate the earliest levels of the visual hierarchy, but the extent thereof varies highly between subjects. Our approach enabled classification not only of complex imagery, but also of its actual contents, in that the direction of imagined motion out of four options was successfully identified in two thirds of the subjects and with accuracies of up to 91.3{\%} in individual subjects. A searchlight analysis confirmed the local origin of decodable information in striate and extra-striate cortex. These high-accuracy findings not only shed new light on a central question in vision science on the constituents of mental imagery, but also show for the first time that the specific sub-categorical content of visual motion imagery is reliably decodable from brain imaging data on a single-subject level.",
keywords = "Decoding, Functional magnetic resonance imaging, Multi-voxel pattern analysis, Ultra-high field MRI, Visual mental imagery",
author = "Emmerling, {Thomas C.} and Jan Zimmermann and Bettina Sorger and Frost, {Martin A.} and Rainer Goebel",
year = "2016",
month = "1",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.022",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "125",
pages = "61--73",
journal = "NeuroImage",
issn = "1053-8119",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decoding the direction of imagined visual motion using 7 T ultra-high field fMRI

AU - Emmerling, Thomas C.

AU - Zimmermann, Jan

AU - Sorger, Bettina

AU - Frost, Martin A.

AU - Goebel, Rainer

PY - 2016/1/15

Y1 - 2016/1/15

N2 - There is a long-standing debate about the neurocognitive implementation of mental imagery. One form of mental imagery is the imagery of visual motion, which is of interest due to its naturalistic and dynamic character. However, so far only the mere occurrence rather than the specific content of motion imagery was shown to be detectable. In the current study, the application of multi-voxel pattern analysis to high-resolution functional data of 12 subjects acquired with ultra-high field 7. T functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed us to show that imagery of visual motion can indeed activate the earliest levels of the visual hierarchy, but the extent thereof varies highly between subjects. Our approach enabled classification not only of complex imagery, but also of its actual contents, in that the direction of imagined motion out of four options was successfully identified in two thirds of the subjects and with accuracies of up to 91.3% in individual subjects. A searchlight analysis confirmed the local origin of decodable information in striate and extra-striate cortex. These high-accuracy findings not only shed new light on a central question in vision science on the constituents of mental imagery, but also show for the first time that the specific sub-categorical content of visual motion imagery is reliably decodable from brain imaging data on a single-subject level.

AB - There is a long-standing debate about the neurocognitive implementation of mental imagery. One form of mental imagery is the imagery of visual motion, which is of interest due to its naturalistic and dynamic character. However, so far only the mere occurrence rather than the specific content of motion imagery was shown to be detectable. In the current study, the application of multi-voxel pattern analysis to high-resolution functional data of 12 subjects acquired with ultra-high field 7. T functional magnetic resonance imaging allowed us to show that imagery of visual motion can indeed activate the earliest levels of the visual hierarchy, but the extent thereof varies highly between subjects. Our approach enabled classification not only of complex imagery, but also of its actual contents, in that the direction of imagined motion out of four options was successfully identified in two thirds of the subjects and with accuracies of up to 91.3% in individual subjects. A searchlight analysis confirmed the local origin of decodable information in striate and extra-striate cortex. These high-accuracy findings not only shed new light on a central question in vision science on the constituents of mental imagery, but also show for the first time that the specific sub-categorical content of visual motion imagery is reliably decodable from brain imaging data on a single-subject level.

KW - Decoding

KW - Functional magnetic resonance imaging

KW - Multi-voxel pattern analysis

KW - Ultra-high field MRI

KW - Visual mental imagery

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84945934447&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84945934447&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.022

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.10.022

M3 - Article

VL - 125

SP - 61

EP - 73

JO - NeuroImage

JF - NeuroImage

SN - 1053-8119

ER -