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Prog Brain Res. 2017;236:163-192. doi: 10.1016/bs.pbr.2017.07.010. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

The maintenance and updating of representations of no longer visible objects and their parts.

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Brown University, Providence, RI, United States. Electronic address:
University of Nevada, Reno, NV, United States. Electronic address:
University of Nevada, Reno, NV, United States. Electronic address:


When an object partially or completely disappears behind an occluding surface, a representation of that object persists. For example, fragments of no longer visible objects can serve as an input into mid-level constructive visual processes, interacting and integrating with currently visible portions to form perceptual units and global motion signals. Remarkably, these persistent representations need not be static and can have their positions and orientations updated postdictively as new information becomes visible. In this chapter, we highlight historical considerations, behavioral evidence, and neural correlates of this type of representational updating of no longer visible information at three distinct levels of visual processing. At the lowest level, we discuss spatiotemporal boundary formation in which visual transients can be integrated over space and time to construct local illusory edges, global form, and global motion percepts. At an intermediate level, we review how the visual system updates form information seen at one moment in time and integrates it with subsequently available information to generate global shape and motion representations (e.g., spatiotemporal form integration and anorthoscopic perception). At a higher level, when an entire object completely disappears behind an occluder, the object's identity and predicted position can be maintained in the absence of visual information.


Dynamic occlusion; Form–motion interactions; Motion perception; Shape perception; Spatiotemporal form integration

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