Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Three-dimensional perception in monkeys can be influenced, study finds

Date:
January 18, 2012
Source:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Summary:
Researchers have identified a brain area in rhesus monkeys responsible for three-dimensional perception. By electrically stimulating brain cells, researchers were able to influence the monkeys' perception of objects.

Researchers have identified a brain area in rhesus monkeys responsible for three-dimensional perception. By electrically stimulating brain cells, researchers were able to influence the monkeys' perception of objects. The study was conducted by researchers at the Laboratory of Neuro- and Psychophysiology and led by Professor Peter Janssen.

Stereo-vision is a form of three-dimensional (3D) perception that relies on the binocular disparities originating from the slightly different projections of the world onto the retina of each eye -- the same principle behind 3D movies and television. Until now, the question of how and where cells in the brain control depth perception remained unanswered. Identifying the correct neurons among the brain's billions of nerve cells is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Previous studies by KU Leuven's Laboratory for Neuro- and Psychophysiology had already demonstrated that the temporal lobe (the part of the brain affecting sleep) can play a role in the stereo-vision of monkeys, whose sight system is very similar to that of humans. The brain cells in the temporal lobe of monkeys have a preference for certain 3D shapes. Some brain cells become more active at the sight of convex 3D shapes, such as cones, while others are excited by concave 3D shapes.

Humans and monkeys

Recent research now shows for the first time a causal link between the activity of these cells and depth perception. The monkeys were trained to distinguish between concave and convex 3D shapes. While the monkeys decided whether a 3D structure was concave or convex, specific cells in their temporal lobe were stimulated with small, short electrical pulses. When brain cells with a preference for convex 3D shapes were stimulated, the monkeys perceived convex shapes -- even if the object before them was concave.

Using brain scans, a region in the human brain was recently discovered that may correspond to the area in the temporal lobe of the monkey. The research on monkeys suggests that the corresponding area in the human brain also plays an important role in 3D perception and that brain manipulations may someday be of benefit for people with visual impairments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bram-Ernst Verhoef, Rufin Vogels, Peter Janssen. Inferotemporal Cortex Subserves Three-Dimensional Structure Categorization. Neuron, 2012; 73 (1): 171 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.10.031

Cite This Page:

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Three-dimensional perception in monkeys can be influenced, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118101333.htm>.
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. (2012, January 18). Three-dimensional perception in monkeys can be influenced, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118101333.htm
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. "Three-dimensional perception in monkeys can be influenced, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120118101333.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) — An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) — An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) — A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

More Coverage


How the Brain Computes 3-Dimensional Structure

Jan. 11, 2012 — The ability of our brain to create a 3D representation from an object's 2D projection on the retina is not well understood and is likely to be highly complex. Now, new research provides the ... read more
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins