Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

Visual perception and awareness have strict limitations. We suggest that one source of these limitations is the representational architecture of the visual system. Under this view, the extent to which items activate the same neural channels constrains the amount of information that can be processed by the visual system and ultimately reach awareness. Here, we measured how well stimuli from different categories (e.g., faces and cars) blocked one another from reaching awareness using two distinct paradigms that render stimuli invisible: visual masking and continuous flash suppression. Next, we used fMRI to measure the similarity of the neural responses elicited by these categories across the entire visual hierarchy. Overall, we found strong brain-behavior correlations within the ventral pathway, weaker correlations in the dorsal pathway, and no correlations in early visual cortex (V1-V3). These results suggest that the organization of higher level visual cortex constrains visual awareness and the overall processing capacity of visual cognition.

Original publication

DOI

10.1162/jocn_a_00855

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date

11/2015

Volume

27

Pages

2240 - 2252

Keywords

Awareness, Brain, Brain Mapping, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Oxygen, Perceptual Masking, Photic Stimulation, Reproducibility of Results, Statistics as Topic, Visual Pathways, Visual Perception