PublicationsPopulation receptive fields in non-human primates from whole-brain fMRI and large-scale neurophysiology in visual cortex in visual cortex
Population receptive field (pRF) modeling is a popular fMRI method to map the retinotopic organization of the human brain. While fMRI-based pRF-maps are qualitatively similar to invasively recorded single-cell receptive fields in animals, it remains unclear what neuronal signal they represent. We addressed this question in awake non-human primates comparing whole-brain fMRI and large-scale neurophysiological recordings in areas V1 and V4 of the visual cortex. We examined the fits of several pRF-models based on the fMRI BOLD-signal, multi-unit spiking activity (MUA) and local field potential (LFP) power in different frequency bands. We found that pRFs derived from BOLD-fMRI were most similar to MUA-pRFs in V1 and V4, while pRFs based on LFP gamma power also gave a good approximation. FMRI-based pRFs thus reliably reflect neuronal receptive field properties in the primate brain. In addition to our results in V1 and V4, the whole-brain fMRI measurements revealed retinotopic tuning in many other cortical and subcortical areas with a consistent increase in pRF-size with increasing eccentricity, as well as a retinotopically specific deactivation of default-mode network nodes similar to previous observations in humans.