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Mapping the Mind's Eye

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When our eyes register a given scene, such as the example shown on the left, the neurons in our brains display it in a very different way, as shown by the artistically rendered retinotopic map.

Credit: Rhonda Hitchcock-Mast/ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) researchers used applied differential geometry to develop a framework to quantify retinotopic maps in V1, one of 14 areas of the brain devoted to visual processing.

Retinotopic maps show how neurons in the brain display a person's visual field.

The researchers' approach involved combining computational conformal geometry, which maintains the angles of lines representing a surface, and quasiconformal Teichmüller theory, which generalizes from discrete conformal maps to encode more complex structures.

The researchers then developed a process that smooths out functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data signals, resolves errors in their topologial structure, and quantifies the mapping through a Beltrami coefficient.

Said ASU's Yalin Wang, "We found that this method generates an accurate quantitative description that is fully reconstructable. Consequently, this approach can be applied to improve our understanding of visual cortical organization not only in V1, but in other visual areas, too."

From Arizona State University
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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