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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47820. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047820. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Bilateral theta-burst TMS to influence global gestalt perception.

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1
Division of Neuropsychology, Center of Neurology, Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research, University of Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

While early and higher visual areas along the ventral visual pathway in the inferotemporal cortex are critical for the recognition of individual objects, the neural representation of human perception of complex global visual scenes remains under debate. Stroke patients with a selective deficit in the perception of a complex global Gestalt with intact recognition of individual objects - a deficit termed simultanagnosia - greatly helped to study this question. Interestingly, simultanagnosia typically results from bilateral lesions of the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ). The present study aimed to verify the relevance of this area for human global Gestalt perception. We applied continuous theta-burst TMS either unilaterally (left or right) or bilateral simultaneously over TPJ. Healthy subjects were presented with hierarchically organized visual stimuli that allowed parametrical degrading of the object at the global level. Identification of the global Gestalt was significantly modulated only for the bilateral TPJ stimulation condition. Our results strengthen the view that global Gestalt perception in the human brain involves TPJ and is co-dependent on both hemispheres.

PMID:
23110106
PMCID:
PMC3482242
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0047820
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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