Predictive masking of an artificial scotoma is associated with a system-wide reconfiguration of neural populations in the human visual cortex

Joana Carvalho*, Remco J Renken, Frans W Cornelissen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

3 Citaten (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


The visual brain has the remarkable capacity to complete our percept of the world even when the information extracted from the visual scene is incomplete. This ability to predict missing information based on information from spatially adjacent regions is an intriguing attribute of healthy vision. Yet, it gains particular significance when it masks the perceptual consequences of a retinal lesion, leaving patients unaware of their partial loss of vision and ultimately delaying diagnosis and treatment. At present, our understanding of the neural basis of this masking process is limited which hinders both quantitative modelling as well as translational application. To overcome this, we asked the participants to view visual stimuli with and without superimposed artificial scotoma (AS). We used fMRI to record the associated cortical activity and applied model-based analyses to track changes in cortical population receptive fields and connectivity in response to the introduction of the AS. We found that throughout the visual field and cortical hierarchy, pRFs shifted their preferred position towards the AS border. Moreover, extrastriate areas biased their sampling of V1 towards sections outside the AS projection zone, thereby effectively masking the AS with signals from spared portions of the visual field. We speculate that the signals that drive these system-wide population modifications originate in extrastriate visual areas and, through feedback, also reconfigure the neural populations in the earlier visual areas.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's13
Vroegere onlinedatum7-nov.-2021
StatusPublished - 15-dec.-2021

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