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Border ownership-dependent tilt aftereffect for shape defined by binocular disparity and motion parallax.

Rideaux, Reuben; Harrison, William J.
J Neurophysiol ; 121(5): 1917-1923, 2019 05 01.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30917072
Discerning objects from their surrounds (i.e., figure-ground segmentation) in a way that guides adaptive behaviors is a fundamental task of the brain. Neurophysiological work has revealed a class of cells in the macaque visual cortex that may be ideally suited to support this neural computation border ownership cells (Zhou H, Friedman HS, von der Heydt R. J Neurosci 20 6594-6611, 2000). These orientation-tuned cells appear to respond conditionally to the borders of objects. A behavioral correlate supporting the existence of these cells in humans was demonstrated with two-dimensional luminance-defined objects (von der Heydt R, Macuda T, Qiu FT. J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis 22 2222-2229, 2005). However, objects in our natural visual environments are often signaled by complex cues, such as motion and binocular disparity. Thus for border ownership systems to effectively support figure-ground segmentation and object depth ordering, they must have access to information from multiple depth cues with strict depth order selectivity. Here we measured in humans (of both sexes) border ownership-dependent tilt aftereffects after adaptation to figures defined by either motion parallax or binocular disparity. We find that both depth cues produce a tilt aftereffect that is selective for figure-ground depth order. Furthermore, we find that the effects of adaptation are transferable between cues, suggesting that these systems may combine depth cues to reduce uncertainty (Bülthoff HH, Mallot HA. J Opt Soc Am A 5 1749-1758, 1988). These results suggest that border ownership mechanisms have strict depth order selectivity and access to multiple depth cues that are jointly encoded, providing compelling psychophysical support for their role in figure-ground segmentation in natural visual environments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Figure-ground segmentation is a critical function that may be supported by "border ownership" neural systems that conditionally respond to object borders. We measured border ownership-dependent tilt aftereffects to figures defined by motion parallax or binocular disparity and found aftereffects for both cues. These effects were transferable between cues but selective for figure-ground depth order, suggesting that the neural systems supporting figure-ground segmentation have strict depth order selectivity and access to multiple depth cues that are jointly encoded.