Eye-centered visual receptive fields in the ventral intraparietal area

Xiaodong Chen, Gregory C. DeAngelis, Dora E. Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ventral intraparietal area (VIP) processes multisensory visual, vestibular, tactile, and auditory signals in diverse reference frames. We recently reported that visual heading signals in VIP are represented in an approximately eye-centered reference frame when measured using large-field optic flow stimuli. No VIP neuron was found to have head-centered visual heading tuning, and only a small proportion of cells had reference frames that were intermediate between eye- and head-centered. In contrast, previous studies using moving bar stimuli have reported that visual receptive fields (RFs) in VIP are headcentered for a substantial proportion of neurons. To examine whether these differences in previous findings might be due to the neuronal property examined (heading tuning vs. RF measurements) or the type of visual stimulus used (full-field optic flow vs. a single moving bar), we have quantitatively mapped visual RFs of VIP neurons using a large-field, multipatch, random-dot motion stimulus. By varying eye position relative to the head, we tested whether visual RFs in VIP are represented in head- or eye-centered reference frames. We found that the vast majority of VIP neurons have eye-centered RFs with only a single neuron classified as head-centered and a small minority classified as intermediate between eye- and head-centered. Our findings suggest that the spatial reference frames of visual responses in VIP may depend on the visual stimulation conditions used to measure RFs and might also be influenced by how attention is allocated during stimulus presentation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014


  • Eye centered
  • Parietal cortex
  • Receptive field
  • Reference frame
  • VIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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