A mathematical theory of visual hallucination patterns

Biol Cybern. 1979 Oct;34(3):137-50. doi: 10.1007/BF00336965.


Neuronal activity in a two-dimensional net is analyzed in the neighborhood of an instability. Bifurcation theory and group theory are used to demonstrate the existence of a variety of doubly-periodic patterns, hexagons, rolls, etc., as solutions to the field equations for the net activity. It is suggested that these simple geometric patterns are the cortical concomitants of the "form constants" seen during visual hallucinosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Periodicity
  • Vision, Ocular
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Fields