'Invisible' influences reveal unconscious pathways used in visual perception

Our conscious awareness is underpinned by activity in our brain, but there is far more going on in our brain at any one time than we can possibly be aware of. So what aspects of our brain's activity are we actually aware of? In a paper published recently in Current Biology, University of Sydney scientists Dr. Colin Clifford and Dr. Justin Harris investigated just how far visual signals from our eyes can penetrate into our brain's processing network without being consciously registered. They found that visual signals can actually travel farther under the radar of consciousness than many scientists had previously thought.

Vision begins with the formation of an image on the back of the eye, an event that in turn stimulates a cascade of nerve impulses sending signals deep into the brain. It is in the brain's visual cortex that these signals are interpreted. In the study, Clifford and Harris examined the influence on conscious vision of an "invisible" image--in this case, an image that had been experimentally masked and could be perceived by the brain but not consciously detected. The researchers showed that such an invisible image received in one eye can influence the appearance of an image in the other eye, thus demonstrating that signals from the invisible image must travel into the brain at least as far as the point at which signals from the two eyes are combined. To reach this point, signals from each eye must be relayed through the mid-brain to the brain's occipital lobe at the back of the head. While it has long been known that the occipital lobe is specialized for visual processing, many scientists believe that it is also the seat of visual consciousness. The results of the Clifford and Harris study challenge this belief, showing instead that activity in the occipital lobe can occur in the absence of conscious visual perception.

Colin W.G. Clifford and Justin A. Harris: "Contextual Modulation outside of Awareness"


Contact: Heidi Hardman
Cell Press

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. UCLA researchers show that culture influences brain cells
2. Childhood environment influences reproductive function
3. A relative of anti-aging gene Klotho also influences metabolic activity, obesity
4. Evolutionary influences on proteins
5. Exposure to dioxins influences male reproductive system, study of Vietnam veterans concludes
6. Womens skin tone influences perception of beauty, health and age
7. Childcare tug-of-war influences shorebird breeding systems
8. Variation in 3 genes influences risk of age-related macular degeneration
9. Prenatal health strongly influences future economic success
10. Who are we up against? Local vs. global competition influences cooperative behavior in humans
11. War between the sexes influences evolution in some species, say scientists

Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/4/2019)... , ... October 04, 2019 , ... ... will be held November 10 at the Grand Elysée Hamburg Rothenbaumchaussee in Hamburg. ... Europe again this November,” said Miao Guo, Vice President of Operations and spokesperson ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 01, 2019 , ... The ... of chemicals, reagents, and medias and to be a more environmentally sustainable evolution ... culmination of years of experience and feedback from the original version we launched ...
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... 02, 2019 , ... Connecticut Innovations (CI), Connecticut’s strategic venture ... innovative, growing companies, today announced that it has closed on a $750,000 investment ... the 2018 VentureClash competition. , The outlay is part of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/3/2019)... ... October 02, 2019 , ... Rapid Novor, Inc., ... announce that it has moved into a new, 5000 sqft, purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility. ... facility demonstrates the company's continuous commitment to quality research and service offerings. ...
(Date:9/24/2019)... ... September 24, 2019 , ... ... technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer ... focused on the development of therapies to treat central nervous system (CNS) ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Catalent, a global leader in clinical supply ... Pacific (APAC) will present at the upcoming 3rd Annual Accelerating Clinical Trials in ... Thursday, Sept. 26, at 10:10 a.m., Ms. Delaney will present “Singapore: APAC’s Clinical ...
(Date:9/17/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... September 16, 2019 , ... ... Nationwide via CNBC on Saturday, September 21st @11:00am ET. Check local listings for ... Pte. Ltd. (Credo Biomedical), a molecular diagnostic company from Singapore dedicated to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: