An evaluation of how connectopic mapping reveals visual field maps in V1

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional gradients, in which response properties change gradually across the cortical surface, have been proposed as a key organising principle of the brain. However, the presence of these gradients remains undetermined in many brain regions. Resting-state neuroimaging studies have suggested these gradients can be reconstructed from patterns of functional connectivity. Here we investigate the accuracy of these reconstructions and establish whether it is connectivity or the functional properties within a region that determine these "connectopic maps". Different manifold learning techniques were used to recover visual field maps while participants were at rest or engaged in natural viewing. We benchmarked these reconstructions against maps measured by traditional visual field mapping. We report an initial exploratory experiment of a publicly available naturalistic imaging dataset, followed by a preregistered replication using larger resting-state and naturalistic imaging datasets from the Human Connectome Project. Connectopic mapping accurately predicted visual field maps in primary visual cortex, with better predictions for eccentricity than polar angle maps. Non-linear manifold learning methods outperformed simpler linear embeddings. We also found more accurate predictions during natural viewing compared to resting-state. Varying the source of the connectivity estimates had minimal impact on the connectopic maps, suggesting the key factor is the functional topography within a brain region. The application of these standardised methods for connectopic mapping will allow the discovery of functional gradients across the brain. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on 19 April 2022. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at .

Original languageEnglish
Article number16249
Number of pages19
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022. The Author(s).


  • Brain/diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Mapping/methods
  • Connectome/methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods
  • Visual Cortex/physiology
  • Visual Fields

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