More brain-power for sight needed than previously thought

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Researchers say that the visual world humans perceive is produced by parts of the brain lying outside of the visual cortex, according to a new study published in Current Biology.

Dartmouth College says that the findings have significant implications for the debate about what human consciousness is and where it occurs in the brain, in a press release dated to December 13.

The study used MRI technology to scan test subjects who observed a screen displaying a visual illusion created by the so-called Gabor patch.

As the patch moves in one direction, the flickering shape tricks the brain into seeing that it is moving in a perceived path that is different from its actual path.

According to the study, the brain scans then allowed researchers to identify the visual cortex as the area of the brain that senses the patch’s actual physical path.

Further, the scans showed that seeing the illusion directly corresponds to activity in the frontal lobes. This suggests that the frontal lobes also process visual information.

According to co-author Patrick Cavanagh, the study establishes that the frontal lobes are not only responsible for decision making and thinking, but also provides the end step for perceiving where objects are.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Research has implications on scientific debate on human consciousness
2. Research methods involves test subjects that observe optical illusions
3. MRI shows frontal lobes are engaged when optical illusion is seen
4. Frontal lobes responsible for higher processes are involved in visual perception

VOICEOVER (in English):
“According to a new study published in Current Biology, the visual world that humans perceive is produced by parts of the brain lying outside of the visual cortex.”

“Researchers at Dartmouth College says that the findings have significant implications for the debate about what human consciousness is and where it occurs in the brain.”

“The study used MRI technology to scan test subjects who observed a screen displaying a visual illusion created by the so-called Gabor patch.”

“As the patch moves in one direction, the flickering shape tricks the brain into seeing that it is moving in a perceived path that is different from its actual path.”

“According to the study, the brain scans then allowed researchers to identify the visual cortex as the area of the brain that senses the patch’s actual physical path.”

“Further, the scans showed that seeing the illusion directly corresponds to activity in the frontal lobes. This suggests that the frontal lobes also process visual information.”

“According to co-author Patrick Cavanagh, the study establishes that the frontal lobes are not only responsible for decision making and thinking, but also provides the end step for perceiving where objects are.”


SOURCES: Current Biology, Dartmouth College (Medical Press)
https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(19)31373-9.pdf
https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-12-conscious-visual-perception.html