The surface area of human V1 predicts the subjective experience of object size

Nat Neurosci. 2011 Jan;14(1):28-30. doi: 10.1038/nn.2706. Epub 2010 Dec 5.


The surface area of human primary visual cortex (V1) varies substantially between individuals for unknown reasons. We found that this variability was strongly and negatively correlated with the magnitude of two common visual illusions, where two physically identical objects appear different in size as a result of their context. Because such illusions dissociate conscious perception from physical stimulation, our findings indicate that the surface area of V1 predicts variability in conscious experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Illusions / physiology
  • Individuality
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Size Perception / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology