Motion Streak Neurons in the Mouse Visual Cortex. Cell Reports. 2021;34(2):108617.
Motion streaks are smeared representation of fast-moving objects due to temporal integration. Here, we test for motion streak signals in mice with two-photon calcium imaging. For small dots moving at low speeds, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) encode the component motion, with preferred direction along the axis perpendicular to their preferred orientation. At high speeds, V1 neurons prefer the direction along the axis parallel to their preferred orientation, as expected for encoding motion streaks. Whereas some V1 neurons (∼20%) display a switch of preferred motion axis with increasing speed, others (>40%) respond specifically to high speeds at the parallel axis. Motion streak neurons are also seen in higher visual lateromedial (LM), anterolateral (AL), and rostrolateral (RL) areas, but with higher transition speeds, and many still prefer the perpendicular axis even with fast motion. Our results thus indicate that diverse motion encoding exists in mouse visual cortex, with intriguing differences among visual areas.