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
NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure
14.11.2018 | NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Fish recognize their prey by electric colors
13.11.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly
The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
14.11.2018 | Life Sciences
14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences
14.11.2018 | Medical Engineering