SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 4.1: Adams, D. L., & Horton, J. C. (2009). Ocular dominance columns: Enigmas and challenges. The Neuroscientist, 15(1), 62-77. doi:10.1177/1073858408327806

Abstract: In some mammalian species, geniculocortical afferents serving each eye are segregated in layer 4C of striate cortex into stripes called ocular dominance columns. Having described the complete pattern of ocular dominance columns in the human brain, the authors enumerate here the principal enigmas that confront future investigators. Probably the overarching challenge is to explain the function, if any, of ocular dominance columns and why they are present in some species and not others. A satisfactory solution must account for the enormous natural variation, even within the same species, among individuals in column expression, pattern, periodicity, and alignment with other components of the functional architecture. Another major priority is to explain the development of ocular dominance columns. It has been established clearly that they form without visual experience, but the innate signals that guide their segregation and maturation are unknown. Experiments addressing the role of spontaneous retinal activity have yielded contradictory data. These studies must be reconciled, to pave the way for new insights into how columnar structure is generated in the cerebral cortex.

Journal Article 4.2: Psalta, L., Young, A. W., Thompson, P., & Andrews, T. J. (2014). The Thatcher illusion reveals orientation dependence in brain regions involved in processing facial expressions. Psychological Science, 25(1), 128-136. doi:10.1177/0956797613501521

Abstract: Although the processing of facial identity is known to be sensitive to the orientation of the face, it is less clear whether orientation sensitivity extends to the processing of facial expressions. To address this issue, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to measure the neural response to the Thatcher illusion. This illusion involves a local inversion of the eyes and mouth in a smiling face--when the face is upright, the inverted features make it appear grotesque, but when the face is inverted, the inversion is no longer apparent. Using an fMRI-adaptation paradigm, we found a release from adaptation in the superior temporal sulcus--a region directly linked to the processing of facial expressions--when the images were upright and they changed from a normal to a Thatcherized configuration. However, this release from adaptation was not evident when the faces were inverted. These results show that regions involved in processing facial expressions display a pronounced orientation sensitivity.

Journal Article 4.3: Sepulcre, J. (2014). Functional streams and cortical integration in the human brain. The Neuroscientist, 20(5), 499-508. doi:10.1177/1073858414531657

Abstract: The processing of brain information relies on the organization of neuronal networks and circuits that in the end must provide the substrate for human cognition. However, the presence of highly complex and multirelay neuronal interactions has limited our ability to disentangle the assemblies of brain systems. The present review article focuses on the latest developments to understand the architecture of functional streams of the human brain at the large-scale level. Particularly, this article presents a comprehensive framework and recent findings about how the highly modular sensory cortex, such as the visual, somatosensory, auditory, as well as motor cortex areas, connects to more parallel-organized cortical hubs in the brain’s functional connectome.

Journal Article 4.4: Tapia, E., & Breitmeyer, B. G. (2011). Visual consciousness revisited: Magnocellular and parvocellular contributions to conscious and nonconscious vision. Psychological Science, 22(7), 934-942. doi:10.1177/0956797611413471

Abstract: Current theoretical approaches to consciousness and vision associate the dorsal cortical pathway, in which magnocellular (M) input is dominant, with nonconscious visual processing and the ventral cortical pathway, in which parvocellular (P) input is dominant, with conscious visual processing. We explored the known differences between M and P contrast-response functions to investigate the roles of these channels in vision. Simulations of contrast-dependent priming revealed that priming effects obtained with unmasked, visible primes were best modeled by equations characteristic of M channel responses, whereas priming effects obtained with masked, invisible primes were best modeled by equations characteristic of P channel responses. In the context of current theoretical approaches to conscious and nonconscious processing, our results indicate a surprisingly significant role of M channels in conscious vision. In a broader discussion of the role of M channels in vision, we propose a neurophysiologically plausible interpretation of the present results: M channels indirectly contribute to conscious object vision via top-down modulation of reentrant activity in the ventral object-recognition stream.

Journal Article 4.5: Wokke, M. E., Vandenbroucke, A. R. E., Scholte, H. S., & Lamme, V. A. F. (2013). Confuse your illusion: Feedback to early visual cortex contributes to perceptual completion. Psychological Science, 24(1), 63-71. doi:10.1177/0956797612449175

Abstract: A striking example of the constructive nature of visual perception is how the human visual system completes contours of occluded objects. To date, it is unclear whether perceptual completion emerges during early stages of visual processing or whether higher-level mechanisms are necessary. To answer this question, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation to disrupt signaling in V1/V2 and in the lateral occipital (LO) area at different moments in time while participants performed a discrimination task involving a Kanizsa-type illusory figure. Results show that both V1/V2 and higher-level visual area LO are critically involved in perceptual completion. However, these areas seem to be involved in an inverse hierarchical fashion, in which the critical time window for V1/V2 follows that for LO. These results are in line with the growing evidence that feedback to V1/V2 contributes to perceptual completion.