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Etude du traitement visuel rétinotopique des fréquences spatiales de scènes et plasticité cérébrale au cours du vieillissement normal et pathologique

Abstract : Visual analysis begins with the parallel extraction of different attributes at different spatial frequencies. The aim of this thesis was to investigatethe mechanisms and the cerebral basis of spatial frequencies processing during scene categorization and their evolution during normal and pathological aging. As a first step, we performed two functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) studies on young adults with normal vision in order to design a retinotopic mapping tool that allows to localize cerebral activations, which is both fast and accurate (studies 1 and 2). As a second step, we studied via fMRI (study 3) the cerebral basis involved in spatial frequencies processing during scenes categorization in young adults with normal vision (study 3). We also assessedthe influence of RMS luminance contrast (“root mean square”) normalization of filtered scenes. Within the occipital cortex, we showed a retinotopic organization of spatial frequencies processing for large visual scenes. Within the occipito-temporal cortex, we showed that scenes-selective regions (the parahippocampal place area, retrosplenial cortex and occipital place area) are specifically involved in spatial frequencies processing. Also, we highlighted the factthat luminance contrast normalization changesboth the intensity and the size of cerebral activations. As a last step, we studiedspatial frequencies processing in normal and pathological aging. We first highlighted in normal aging (study 4) a specific deficit in the ability to categorize scenes with high spatial frequencies (HSF); this deficit was associated with a decrease of activation within the occipital cortex and scenes selective regions. In patients suffering from a loss in central vision due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD patients, studies 5 and 6), we showed an even more pronounced deficit of HSF processing than observed in normal aging. Interestingly, with respect to the assistance of AMD patients, we observed that increasing the contrast luminance of HSF scenes significantly improved their ability to categorize such scenes. In the end, these results allow us to better understand the neurofunctional mechanisms involved in the visual perception of scenes and to distinguish the cortical changes related to normal aging from those resulting from a visual pathology.Keywords: Visual scenes, Spatial frequencies, fMRI, Visual cortex, Retinotopy, Scene-selective regions, Normal aging, AMD.
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Stephen Ramanoël. Etude du traitement visuel rétinotopique des fréquences spatiales de scènes et plasticité cérébrale au cours du vieillissement normal et pathologique. Psychologie. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015GREAS007⟩. ⟨tel-01251655⟩

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