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Nature. 1995 Oct 26;377(6551):731-4.

Responses of cells in monkey visual cortex during perceptual filling-in of an artificial scotoma.

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Laboratory of Psychology and Psychopathology, NIMH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


When we view a scene through one eye, we typically do not see the scotomas created by the optic disc and the blood vessels overlying the retinal surface. Similarly, when a texture field containing a hole is steadily viewed in peripheral vision (artificial scotoma), the hole appears to fill in with the surrounding texture in a matter of seconds, demonstrating that the visual system fills in information across regions where no information is available. Here we show that, in monkeys viewing a similar texture field with a hole, the responses of extrastriate visual neurons with receptive fields covering the hole increase gradually to a level comparable to that elicited by the same texture without a hole. The time course of these dynamic changes in activity parallels the time course of perceived filling-in of the hole by human observers, suggesting that this process mediates perceptual filling-in.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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