The team of researchers from the University of Münster, Germany, describes a model of brain function in which eye movement signals are used to boost the neural representation of objects located at the future eye position. This boost comes at the expense of a temporary loss of spatial accuracy. This research shows a direct correlation between visual perception and eye movement control.
Humans move their eyes 2-3 times a second without noticing. Each gaze shift triggers a host of internal brain processes with very delicate timing. The gaze shift is preceded by a brief shift of attention towards the new gaze target so that visual processing at the target area improves some 50 milliseconds before the eye itself looks at the target. This preceding improvement increases the sensitivity of visual neurons in many brain areas, which then respond more strongly to stimuli near the gaze target just prior to the gaze movement.
Using a detailed neuro-computational model of the representation of the visual world in cortical maps, the researchers investigated the consequences of these sensitivity changes to the perception of spatial location. Their results showed that objects presented just before the eye movement appear to lie at the gaze target rather than at their true spatial location, akin to a compression of visual space. Moreover, this model explains a peculiar finding that neurons in some brain areas appear to move their receptive field, i.e. the visual direction to which they respond, prior to eye movement. Analysis of the net effect of all receptive field changes in the model shows that the brain dynamically recruits cells for processing visual information around the target. This increase in processing capacity presumably allows one to perceive details of the object before looking at it, therefore making the world appear stable while we move our eyes.
This new model prompts many predictions that can guide experimental research – one step towards theory driven brain research. The model also paves the way to develop novel concepts for artificial vision systems.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences