Visual dual-stream theory posits that two distinct neural pathways of specific functional significance originate from primary visual areas and reach the inferior temporal (ventral) and posterior parietal areas (dorsal). However, there are several unresolved questions concerning the fundamental aspects of this theory. For example, is the functional dissociation between ventral and dorsal stream driven by features in input stimuli or is it driven by categorical differences between visuoperceptual and visuomotor functions? Is the dual stream rigid or flexible? What is the nature of the interactions between the two streams? We addressed these questions using fMRI recordings on healthy human volunteers and employing stimuli and tasks that can tease out the divergence between visuoperceptual and visuomotor variants of dual-stream theory. fMRI scans were repeated after seven practice sessions that were conducted in a non-MRI environment to investigate the effects of neuroplasticity. Brain activation analysis supports an input-based functional dissociation and existence of context-dependent neuroplasticity in dual-stream areas. Intriguingly, premotor cortex activation was observed in the position perception task and distributed deactivated regions were observed in all perception tasks, thus warranting a network-level analysis. Dynamic causal modeling analysis incorporating activated and deactivated brain areas during perception tasks indicates that the brain dynamics during visual perception and actions could be interpreted within the framework of predictive coding. Effectively, the network-level findings point toward the existence of more intricate context-driven functional networks selective of “what” and “where” information rather than segregated streams of processing along ventral and dorsal brain regions.

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