The vanishing of the sun: a manifestation of cortical plasticity

Surv Ophthalmol. Mar-Apr 1998;42(5):449-52. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6257(97)00134-3.


In Monet's painting impression. Rising Sun, when one steadily fixates the image of a sailor in the center of the picture for several seconds, the solar disk progressively disappears, being replaced in both brightness and color by the surrounding sky. This "filling-in" phenomenon reflects a process of cortical remapping, similar to the one that occurs in the presence of visual field defects. Filling-in is largely ignored by clinicians, despite its major implications in ophthalmologic practice, especially the nonrecognition of visual field deficits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Illusions
  • Medicine in the Arts
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Paintings
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Fields / physiology