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Nat Neurosci. 2005 Feb;8(2):143-4. Epub 2005 Jan 9.

Striate cortex (V1) activity gates awareness of motion.

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  • 1Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, UK. <>


A key question in understanding visual awareness is whether any single cortical area is indispensable. In a transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment, we show that observers' awareness of activity in extrastriate area V5 depends on the amount of activity in striate cortex (V1). From the timing and pattern of effects, we infer that back-projections from extrastriate cortex influence information content in V1, but it is V1 that determines whether that information reaches awareness.

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