Recovery of fMRI Activation in Motion Area MT Following Storage of the Motion Aftereffect Academic Article uri icon


  • Culham, Jody C., Sean P. Dukelow, Tutis Vilis, Frank A. Hassard, Joseph S. Gati, Ravi S. Menon, and Melvyn A. Goodale. Recovery of fMRI activation in motion area MT following storage of the motion aftereffect. J. Neurophysiol. 81: 388–393, 1999. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during storage of the motion aftereffect (MAE) to examine the relationship between motion perception and neural activity in the human cortical motion complex MT+ (including area MT and adjacent motion-selective cortex). MT+ responds not only to physical motion but also to illusory motion, as in the MAE when subjects who have adapted to continuous motion report that a subsequent stationary test stimulus appears to move in the opposite direction. In the phenomenon of storage, the total decay time of the MAE is extended by inserting a dark period between adaptation and test phases. That is, when the static test pattern is presented after a storage period equal in duration to the normal MAE, the illusory motion reappears for almost as long as the original effect despite the delay. We examined fMRI activation in MT+ during and after storage. Seven subjects viewed continuous motion, followed either by an undelayed stationary test (immediate MAE) or by a completely dark storage interval preceding the test (stored MAE). Like the perceptual effect, activity in MT+ dropped during the storage interval then rebounded to reach a level much higher than after the same delay without storage. Although MT+ activity was slightly enhanced during the storage period following adaptation to continuous motion (compared with a control sequence in which the adaptation grating oscillated and no MAE was perceived), this enhancement was much less than that observed during the perceptual phenomenon. These results indicate that following adaptation, activity in MT+ is pronounced only with the presentation of an appropriate visual stimulus, during which the MAE is perceived.


  • Culham, Jody C
  • Dukelow, Sean P
  • Vilis, Tutis
  • Hassard, Frank A
  • Gati, Joseph S
  • Menon, Ravi S
  • Goodale, Melvyn A

publication date

  • January 1, 1999