Natural scene sampling reveals reliable coarse-scale orientation tuning in human V1

Zvi N. Roth, Kendrick Kay, Elisha P. Merriam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Orientation selectivity in primate visual cortex is organized into cortical columns. Since cortical columns are at a finer spatial scale than the sampling resolution of standard BOLD fMRI measurements, analysis approaches have been proposed to peer past these spatial resolution limitations. It was recently found that these methods are predominantly sensitive to stimulus vignetting - a form of selectivity arising from an interaction of the oriented stimulus with the aperture edge. Beyond vignetting, it is not clear whether orientation-selective neural responses are detectable in BOLD measurements. Here, we leverage a dataset of visual cortical responses measured using high-field 7T fMRI. Fitting these responses using image-computable models, we compensate for vignetting and nonetheless find reliable tuning for orientation. Results further reveal a coarse-scale map of orientation preference that may constitute the neural basis for known perceptual anisotropies. These findings settle a long-standing debate in human neuroscience, and provide insights into functional organization principles of visual cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6469
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH (ZIAMH002966) to E.P.M. Collection of the NSD dataset was supported by NSF IIS-1822683 to K.K. and NSF IIS-1822929.

Funding Information:
Open Access funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply.

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) tags

  • BFC

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


Dive into the research topics of 'Natural scene sampling reveals reliable coarse-scale orientation tuning in human V1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this