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Neuroreport. 2005 Sep 8;16(13):1483-7.

Figure-ground segregation requires two distinct periods of activity in V1: a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

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  • 1Anatomy Department, Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, University College London, London WC1E6BT, UK.

Erratum in

  • Neuroreport. 2006 Nov;17(16):1753.


Discriminating objects from their surroundings by the visual system is known as figure-ground segregation. This process entails two different subprocesses: boundary detection and subsequent surface segregation or 'filling in'. In this study, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to test the hypothesis that temporally distinct processes in V1 and related early visual areas such as V2 or V3 are causally related to the process of figure-ground segregation. Our results indicate that correct discrimination between two visual stimuli, which relies on figure-ground segregation, requires two separate periods of information processing in the early visual cortex: one around 130-160 ms and the other around 250-280 ms.

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