Retinotopy and functional subdivision of human areas MT and MST

Alexander C. Huk, Robert F. Dougherty, David J. Heeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We performed a series of functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments to divide the human MT+ complex into subregions that may be identified as homologs to a pair of macaque motion-responsive visual areas: The middle temporal area (MT) and the medial superior temporal area (MST). Using stimuli designed to tease apart differences in retinotopic organization and receptive field size, we established a double dissociation between two distinct MT+ subregions in 8 of the 10 hemispheres studied. The first subregion exhibited retinotopic organization but did not respond to peripheral ipsilateral stimulation, indicative of smaller receptive fields. Conversely, the second subregion within MT+ did not demonstrate retinotopic organization but did respond to peripheral stimuli in both the ipsilateral and contralateral visual hemifields, indicative of larger receptive fields. We tentatively identify these subregions as the human homologues of macaque MT and MST, respectively. Putative human MT and MST were typically located on the posterior/ventral and anterior/dorsal banks of a dorsal/posterior limb of the inferior temporal sulcus, similar to their relative positions in the macaque superior temporal sulcus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7195-7205
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2002


  • Area MST
  • Area MT
  • Area MT+
  • Direction-selectivity
  • Homology
  • Retinotopy
  • Visual motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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