The investigation of oscillatory changes in the visual cortex using synthetic aperture magnetometry

  • Ian Fawcett

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis is an exploration of the oscillatory changes occurring in the visual cortex as measured by a functional imaging technique known as Synthetic Aperture Magnetometry (SAM), and how these compare to the BOLD response, across a number of different experimental paradigms.
In chapter one the anatomy and physiology of the visual pathways and cortex are outlined, introducing the reader to structures and terms used throughout the thesis whilst chapter two introduces both the technology and analysis techniques required to record MEG and fMRI and also outlines the theory behind SAM. In chapter three the temporal frequency tuning of both striate and extrastriate cortex is investigated, showing fundamental differences in both tuning characteristics and oscillatory power changes between the two areas. Chapter four introduces the concept of implied-motion and investigates the role of area V5 / MT in the perception of such stimuli and shows, for the first time, the temporal evolution of the response in this area. Similarly a close link is shown between the early evoked potential, produced by the stimulus, and previous BOLD responses. Chapter five investigates the modulation of cortical oscillations to both shifts in attention and varying stimulus contrast. It shows that there are both induced and evoked modulation changes with attention, consistent with areas previously known to show BOLD responses. Chapter six involves a direct comparison of cortical oscillatory changes with those of the BOLD response in relation to the parametric variation of a motion coherence stimulus. It is shown that various cortical areas show a linear BOLD response to motion coherence and, for the first time, that both induced oscillatory and evoked activity also vary linearly in areas coincidental with the BOLD response. The final chapter is a summary of the main conclusions and suggests further work.
Date of AwardSept 2004
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorKrishna D. Singh (Supervisor)


  • synthetic aperture magnetometry (SAM)
  • visual cortex
  • BOLD
  • temporal frequency tuning
  • implied-motion
  • motion coherence
  • attentional modulation

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