Monday, January 25, 2016

Study Gives Glimpse on How the Visual System Fills in the Gaps of What We See

"A Dartmouth College study sheds light on how the brain fills in the gaps of how we visually perceive the world around us. The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," starts the Medical News Today post. "Visual images and other raw sensory data must reach the cerebral cortex to be perceived, but the data are often missing details when they are sent from the eyes to the visual cortex, the part of the brain responsible for seeing. Thus, our visual system regularly fills in extensive details to create enriched images that help us to understand and interpret what we see. A growing body of evidence suggests these 'filled-in' visual signals are represented at early stages of cortical processing. The researchers used fMRI on study participants to explore the neural mechanisms underlying the reconstruction of these 'filled-in' images. They found that 'intermediate' object features, which aren't in the retinal signals but are inferred during kinetic transformation, are reconstructed in neural responses at early stages of cortical processing, presumably via feedback from high-level brain areas." Read more.

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