Separate cortical stages in amodal completion revealed by functional magnetic resonance adaptation

Weigelt, S., Singer, W. and Muckli, L. (2007) Separate cortical stages in amodal completion revealed by functional magnetic resonance adaptation. BMC Neuroscience, 8, 70. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2202-8-70) (PMID:17764553) (PMCID:PMC2075517)

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Abstract

Background: Objects in our environment are often partly occluded, yet we effortlessly perceive them as whole and complete. This phenomenon is called visual amodal completion. Psychophysical investigations suggest that the process of completion starts from a representation of the (visible) physical features of the stimulus and ends with a completed representation of the stimulus. The goal of our study was to investigate both stages of the completion process by localizing both brain regions involved in processing the physical features of the stimulus as well as brain regions representing the completed stimulus. Results: Using fMRI adaptation we reveal clearly distinct regions in the visual cortex of humans involved in processing of amodal completion: early visual cortex – presumably V1 -processes the local contour information of the stimulus whereas regions in the inferior temporal cortex represent the completed shape. Furthermore, our data suggest that at the level of inferior temporal cortex information regarding the original local contour information is not preserved but replaced by the representation of the amodally completed percept. Conclusion: These findings provide neuroimaging evidence for a multiple step theory of amodal completion and further insights into the neuronal correlates of visual perception.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Muckli, Professor Lars
Authors: Weigelt, S., Singer, W., and Muckli, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:BMC Neuroscience
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2202
ISSN (Online):1471-2202
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2007 Weigelt et al.
First Published:First published in BMC Neuroscience 8: 70
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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