The Role of Primary Visual Cortex in Visual Awareness
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Despite its great complexity, a great deal is known about the organization and information-processing properties of the visual system. However, the neural correlates of visual awareness are not yet understood. By studying patients with blindsight, the primary visual cortex (V1) has attracted a lot of attention recently. Although this brain area appears to be important for visual awareness, its exact role is still a matter of debate. Interactive models propose a direct role for V1 in generating visual awareness through recurrent processing. Hierarchal models instead propose that awareness is generated in later visual areas and that the role of V1 is limited to transmitting the necessary information to these areas. Interactive and hierarchical models make different predictions and the aim of this thesis is to review the evidence from lesions, perceptual suppression, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), along with data from internally generated visual awareness in dreams, hallucinations and imagery, this in order to see whether current evidence favor one type of model over the other. A review of the evidence suggests that feedback projections to V1 appear to be important in most cases for visual awareness to arise but it can arise even when V1 is absent.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 54 p.
primary visual cortex, V1, visual awareness
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11623OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-11623DiVA: diva2:862578
Subject / course
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology