Creating three-dimensional (3D) representations of the world from two-dimensional retinal images is fundamental to visually guided behaviors including reaching and grasping. A critical component of this process is determining the 3D orientation of objects. Previous studies have shown that neurons in the caudal intraparietal area (CIP) of the macaque monkey represent 3D planar surface orientation (i.e., slant and tilt). Here we compare the responses of neurons in areas V3A (which is implicated in 3D visual processing and precedes CIP in the visual hierarchy) and CIP to 3D-oriented planar surfaces. We then examine whether activity in these areas correlates with perception during a fine slant discrimination task in which the monkeys report if the top of a surface is slanted toward or away from them. Although we find that V3A and CIP neurons show similar sensitivity to planar surface orientation, significant choice-related activity during the slant discrimination task is rare in V3A but prominent in CIP. These results implicate both V3A and CIP in the representation of 3D surface orientation, and suggest a functional dissociation between the areas based on slant-related choice signals.
- 3D orientation
ASJC Scopus subject areas