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Neuropsychologia. 2009 Jan;47(2):556-68. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.10.012. Epub 2008 Oct 19.

Impairments of Gestalt perception in the intact hemifield of hemianopic patients are reflected in gamma-band EEG activity.

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Department of Biological Psychology, Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg, Germany.


Gamma-band responses (GBRs) are associated with Gestalt perception processes. In the present EEG study, we investigated the effects of perceptual grouping on the visual GBR in the perimetrically intact visual field of patients with homonymous hemianopia and compared them to healthy participants. All observers were presented either random arrays of Gabor elements or arrays with an embedded circular arrangement. For the hemianopic patients, the circle was presented in their intact hemifield only. For controls, the hemifield for the circle presentation was counterbalanced across subjects. The participants were instructed to detect the circle by pressing a corresponding button. A wavelet transform based on Morlet wavelets was employed for the calculation of oscillatory GBRs. The early evoked GBR exhibited a larger amplitude and shorter latency for the healthy group compared to hemianopic patients and was associated with behavioral measures. The late total GBR between 200 and 400ms after stimulus onset was significantly increased for Gestalt-like patterns in healthy participants. This effect was not manifested in patients. The present findings indicate deficits in the early and late visual processing of Gestalt patterns even in the intact hemifield of hemianopic patients compared to healthy participants.

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