SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 1: Ajina, S.,& Bridge, H. (in press). Blindsight and unconscious vision: What they teach us about the human visual system.Neuroscientist.
doi: 10.1177/1073858416673817.

Abstract: Damage to the primary visual cortex removes the major input from the eyes to the brain, causing significant visual loss as patients are unable to perceive the side of the world contralateral to the damage. Some patients, however, retain the ability to detect visual information within this blind region; this is known as blindsight. By studying the visual pathways that underlie this residual vision in patients, we can uncover additional aspects of the human visual system that likely contribute to normal visual function but cannot be revealed under physiological conditions. In this review, we discuss the residual abilities and neural activity that have been described in blindsight and the implications of these findings for understanding the intact system.

Journal Article 2: Crutch, S. J., Yong, K. X. X., & Shakespeare, T. J. (2016). Looking but not seeing: Recent perspectives on posterior cortical atrophyCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, 25(4), 251-260.
doi: 10.1177/0963721416655999.

Abstract: Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is the canonical “visual dementia,” with affected individuals experiencing a progressive disintegration of their visual world owing to dysfunction and atrophy at the back of the brain. The syndrome, which also affects literacy, numeracy, and gesture, is typically caused by Alzheimer’s disease, but is distinguished from more common amnestic presentations by virtue of relatively preserved episodic memory and insight. Although problems with object and space perception are the most widely reported and investigated symptoms, these higher-order perceptual difficulties are often underpinned by an array of changes in more basic visual and oculomotor processes. Here we review recent studies providing insights into these more elementary aspects of vision in PCA, including fixation stability, saccade generation, point localization, excessive crowding, and factors affecting the effective field of vision. We argue that a more detailed appreciation of these fundamental changes in the early visual system not only will improve the characterization and understanding of this rare clinico-radiological syndrome but will also guide the design of visual aids and strategies aimed at maintaining everyday abilities in individuals with PCA.

Journal Article 3: Sun, Y., Hickey, T. J., Shinn-Cunningham, B., & Sekuler, R. (2017). Catching audiovisual interactions with a first-person fisherman video game.Perception, 46(7), 793-814.
doi: 10.1177/0301006616682755.

Abstract: The human brain is excellent at integrating information from different sources across multiple sensory modalities. To examine one particularly important form of multisensory interaction, we manipulated the temporal correlation between visual and auditory stimuli in a first-person fisherman video game. Subjects saw rapidly swimming fish whose size oscillated, either at 6 or 8 Hz. Subjects categorized each fish according to its rate of size oscillation, while trying to ignore a concurrent broadband sound seemingly emitted by the fish. In three experiments, categorization was faster and more accurate when the rate at which a fish oscillated in size matched the rate at which the accompanying, task-irrelevant sound was amplitude modulated. Control conditions showed that the difference between responses to matched and mismatched audiovisual signals reflected a performance gain in the matched condition, rather than a cost from the mismatched condition. The performance advantage with matched audiovisual signals was remarkably robust over changes in task demands between experiments. Performance with matched or unmatched audiovisual signals improved over successive trials at about the same rate, emblematic of perceptual learning in which visual oscillation rate becomes more discriminable with experience. Finally, analysis at the level of individual subjects’ performance pointed to differences in the rates at which subjects can extract information from audiovisual stimuli.