Clustering of heading selectivity and perception-related activity in the ventral intraparietal area

Mengmeng Shao, Gregory C. Deangelis, Dora E. Angelaki, Aihua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ventral intraparietal area (VIP) of the macaque brain is a multimodal cortical region, with many cells tuned to both optic flow and vestibular stimuli. Responses of many VIP neurons also show robust correlations with perceptual judgments during a fine heading discrimination task. Previous studies have shown that heading tuning based on optic flow is represented in a clustered fashion in VIP. However, it is unknown whether vestibular self-motion selectivity is clustered in VIP. Moreover, it is not known whether stimulus-and choice-related signals in VIP show clustering in the context of a heading discrimination task. To address these issues, we compared the response characteristics of isolated single units (SUs) with those of the undifferentiated multiunit (MU) activity corresponding to several neighboring neurons recorded from the same microelectrode. We find that MU activity typically shows selectivity similar to that of simultaneously recorded SUs, for both the vestibular and visual stimulus conditions. In addition, the choice-related activity of MU signals, as quantified using choice probabilities, is correlated with the choice-related activity of SUs. Overall, these findings suggest that both sensory and choice-related signals regarding self-motion are clustered in VIP. NEW & NOTEWORTHY We demonstrate, for the first time, that the vestibular tuning of ventral intraparietal area (VIP) neurons in response to both translational and rotational motion is clustered. In addition, heading discriminability and choice-related activity are also weakly clustered in VIP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1113-1126
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Clustering
  • Heading perception
  • Optic flow
  • VIP
  • Vestibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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