7 posts tagged with visualcortex.
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Seeing music in colour: Not just for stoners anymore!

Scientists have found that people with synesthesia, a condition wherein people have strong links between sensory experiences (such as hearing music as colours, or recalling a particular taste with a strong visual memory), may be caused by neural overstimulation in the visual cortex. The original paper (abstract and full text in pdf): Enhanced Cortical Excitability in Grapheme-Color Synesthesia and Its Modulation [more inside]
posted by guster4lovers on Nov 21, 2011 - 65 comments

VisualCortexFilter: Hubel and Wiesel have a chat

Professors David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel (Nobel Prize 1981; Hubel's lecture; Wiesel's lecture) are responsible for "accidentally (YT)" (other movies) discovering a fundamental property of how the visual areas of the brain process information: single neurons respond to lines and edges of objects in visual space (pdf). This was an enormous leap forward in our understanding of visual cortex, and demonstrated that a cortical neuron can form outputs that are more complex than any of its inputs. They went on to pioneer the field of plasticity (or learning) in cortex. Here they sit together for an hour and chat about the early days of exploring the visual cortex.
posted by FrereKhan on Oct 27, 2011 - 8 comments

Growing New Senses

More evidence of brain plasticity: Some blind people are able to use echolocation to perceive space and objects around them in surprising detail, even though the time differences in echoes necessary to do this are two small to be consciously perceived. An fMRI study by Lore Thaler, Stephen Arnott and Melvyn Goodale revealed that people who are especially adept at this use their calcarine cortex (a.k.a. V1 or primary visual cortex) to process spatial information from the echoes. The original paper. A shorter discussion. (Previously)
posted by nangar on Jun 20, 2011 - 13 comments

Form Constants

"In the Bible, God appeared to Ezekiel as a “wheel within a wheel”. Spirals and concentric circles are commonly found in petrogylphs carved by cultures long dead. Similar visual effects are reported during extreme psychological stress, fever delirium, psychotic episodes, sensory deprivation, and are reliably induced by psychedelic drugs."
Form Constants and the Visual Cortex, or Where Psychedelic Visuals Come From.
posted by Taft on Mar 15, 2011 - 51 comments

Zik Zak Zoom

Halation can interfere with your brain making out the shapes of distorted words, such as on passing highway signs. Banned from advertising in F1 racing, a major tobacco company that sponsors a team came up with a novel design solution that may play on this visual effect to an opposite, suggestive effect, depending on the observer. European officials were not amused, going so far as to call the design "subliminal". Ferrari responded by removing traces of the design from its cars. Judas Priest could not be reached for comment. [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 13, 2010 - 53 comments

How the cortex got its stripes

Uncoiling the spiral: Maths and hallucinations So common are these geometric hallucinations, that in the last century scientists began asking themselves if they couldn't tell us something fundamental about how our brains are wired up. And it seems that they can. (via MAPS)
posted by kaspen on Feb 16, 2010 - 31 comments

Whoa! I know ferret-fu!

Idle your visual cortexes on this ... There's some interesting science in here about how much of our brains we humans use, but for the rest of today I'll be using my spare brainwidth to picture "The Matrix" with ferrets. (via Dynamist, via PunditDrome!)
posted by allaboutgeorge on Oct 21, 2004 - 7 comments

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