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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00142

Functional neuroanatomy of vertical visual perception in humans

 Arnaud Saj1*, Liliane Borel2 and Jacques Honoré3
  • 1Université de Genève, Switzerland
  • 2UMR7260 Neurosciences Sensorielles et Cognitives, France
  • 3UMR9193 Laboratoires Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives (SCALab), France

Vertical representation is central to posture control, as well as to spatial perception and navigation. This representation has been studied for a long time in patients with vestibular disorders and more recently in hemisphere damaged patients, in particular in those with right lesions causing spatial or postural deficits. The aim of the study was to determine the brain areas involved in the visual perception of the vertical. Sixteen healthy participants were evaluated using fMRI while they were judging the verticality of lines or, in a control task, the color of the same lines. The brain bases of the vertical perception proved to involve a bilateral temporo-occipital and parieto-occipital cortical network, with a right dominance, associated with cerebellar and brainstem areas. Consistent with the outcomes of neuroanatomical studies in stroke patients, The data of this original fMRI study in healthy subjects provides new insights into brain networks associated with vertical perception which is typically impaired in both vestibular and spatial neglect patients. Interestingly, these networks include not only brain areas associated with postural control but also areas implied in body representation.

Keywords: Vertical perception, Posture, fMRI — functional magnetic resonance imaging, Visual orientation, environment perception

Received: 28 Aug 2018; Accepted: 04 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Christian Van Nechel, Clinique des Vertiges, Belgium

Reviewed by:

Alexander A. Tarnutzer, University of Zurich, Switzerland
Andrés Soto-Varela, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Santiago, Spain  

Copyright: © 2019 Saj, Borel and Honoré. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Arnaud Saj, Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland, Arnaud.Saj@unige.ch