Abilities to discriminate forms defined by motion continue to develop throughout childhood. To investigate late development of the visual motion system, we measured brain activity with event-related EEG potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in groups of adolescents (15-17 years) and adults (20-30 years) during a visual form discrimination task-with forms being either defined by motion or luminance contrast. We further explored whether possible developmental changes varied with the degree of motion coherence reflecting maturation specific to global motion processing. Both the fMRI activation patterns and ERP topographies were very similar between adolescents and adults, suggesting that the basic visual networks for processing motion and form are established by the age of 15-17. The ERP response to luminance- and motion-defined forms was dominated by a posterior negativity (N1: 120-270 ms). The N1 of the motion contrast was delayed in adolescents, whereas the N1 of the static condition did not differ between groups. Since the motion-evoked N1 is thought to arise in the middle temporal area MT/V5, our results indicate that visual motion processing in MT continues to get faster, becoming still more efficient during late development. Neither the ERP nor the fMRI results revealed maturation effects specific to motion coherence. This indicates that the specific mechanisms to process global dot motion are already mature in adolescence. The present findings support the view that static perception matures earlier than dynamic perception, and that these visual systems have different developmental courses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience