Bistable Gestalts reduce activity in the whole of V1, not just the retinotopically predicted parts

J Vis. 2012 Oct 22;12(11):12. doi: 10.1167/12.11.12.


Activity in the primary visual cortex reduces when certain stimuli can be perceptually organized as a unified Gestalt. This reduction could offer important insights into the nature of feedback computations within the human visual system; however, the properties of this response reduction have not yet been investigated in detail. Here we replicate this reduced V1 response, but find that the modulation in V1 (and V2) to the perceived organization of the input is not specific to the retinotopic location at which the sensory input from that stimulus is represented. Instead, we find a response modulation that is equally evident across the primary visual cortex. Thus in contradiction to some models of hierarchical predictive coding, the perception of an organized Gestalt causes a broad feedback effect that does not act specifically on the part of the retinotopic map representing the sensory input.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Mapping
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*
  • Young Adult