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Nature. 1992 Nov 5;360(6399):73-5.

Preserved figure-ground segregation and symmetry perception in visual neglect.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK.


A central controversy in current research on visual attention is whether figures are segregated from their background preattentively, or whether attention is first directed to unstructured regions of the image. Here we present neurological evidence for the former view from studies of a brain-injured patient with visual neglect. His attentional impairment arises after normal segmentation of the image into figures and background has taken place. Our results indicate that information which is neglected and unavailable to higher levels of visual processing can nevertheless be processed by earlier stages in the visual system concerned with segmentation.

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