Separate cortical stages in amodal completion revealed by functional magnetic resonance adaptation : research article

  • Background Objects in our environment are often partly occluded, yet we effortlessly perceive them as whole and complete. This phenomenon is called visual amodal completion. Psychophysical investigations suggest that the process of completion starts from a representation of the (visible) physical features of the stimulus and ends with a completed representation of the stimulus. The goal of our study was to investigate both stages of the completion process by localizing both brain regions involved in processing the physical features of the stimulus as well as brain regions representing the completed stimulus. Results Using fMRI adaptation we reveal clearly distinct regions in the visual cortex of humans involved in processing of amodal completion: early visual cortex - presumably V1 - processes the local contour information of the stimulus whereas regions in the inferior temporal cortex represent the completed shape. Furthermore, our data suggest that at the level of inferior temporal cortex information regarding the original local contour information is not preserved but replaced by the representation of the amodally completed percept. Conclusion These findings provide neuroimaging evidence for a multiple step theory of amodal completion and further insights into the neuronal correlates of visual perception.

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Author:Sarah Weigelt, Wolf SingerORCiDGND, Lars MuckliORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC neuroscience
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2007/08/31
Date of first Publication:2007/08/31
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/11/19
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
© 2007 Weigelt et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institutes:Wissenschaftliche Zentren und koordinierte Programme / Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS)
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 2.0