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Seeing without knowing: Operational principles along the early visual pathway
Ernst Pöppel1; Ernst Pöppel2,3; Lingyan Wang2; Taoxi Yang3; Yuliya Zaytseva2,3,4; Yan Bao2,3
First AuthorErnst Pöppel

Single cases may lead to unexpected hypotheses in psychology. We retrospectively analyzed single case studies that suggested organizational principles along the early visual pathway, which have remained unanswered until now. First case: In spite of the inhomogeneity of sensitivity, paradoxically the visual field on the subjective level appears to be homogeneous; constancy of brightness of supra-threshold stimuli throughout the visual field is claimed to be responsible for homogeneity; specific summation properties of retinal ganglion cells are hypothesized to guarantee this effect. Second case: With a brain-injured patient having suffered a partial visual field loss it can be shown that color induction is a retinal phenomenon; lateral inhibitory processes at the level of amacrine cells are hypothesized as neural network. Third case: In a patient having suffered a bilateral occipital lobe infarction, some functional recovery has been demonstrated; divergence and convergence of projection in the ascending neural pathway are suggested as a structural basis for recovery. Slowed down binocular rivalry discloses a sequential mechanism in the construction of a visual percept. Fourth case: The pre-wired projection of the retina to the visual cortex in spite of a severe squint of one eye is confirmed, but paradoxically some local neuroplasticity is also suggested. Fifth case: Using habituation of local sensitivity in the visual field and its resetting by interhemispheric interactions as an experimental paradigm, it is suggested that spatial attention is controlled at the midbrain level. Sixth case: Observations on residual vision or blindsight support the hypothesis that the visual cortex is the one and only structure responsible for visual perception on a conscious level. The unifying principle of these retrospective analyses is that subjective visual phenomena can lead to unexpected but testable hypotheses of neural processing on the structural and functional level in the early visual pathway.

KeywordAttentional Control Binocular Rivalry Blindsight Brightness Perception Color Perception Consciousness Eccentricity Effect Habituation Neuroplasticity Restitution Of Function
Source PublicationPSYCH JOURNAL
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Cited Times:11[WOS]   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document Type期刊论文
Affiliation1.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Behav Sci, Beijing, Peoples R China
2.Peking Univ, Key Lab Machine Percept, Sch Psychol & Cognit Sci, Minist Educ, Beijing, Peoples R China
3.Peking Univ, Beijing Key Lab Behav & Mental Hlth, Beijing, Peoples R China
4.Univ Munich, Inst Med Psychol, Munich, Germany
5.Univ Munich, Human Sci Ctr, Munich, Germany
6.Natl Inst Mental Hlth, Dept Natl IT Syst Mental Hlth & Brain Monitoring, Klecany, Czech Republic
7.Charles Univ Prague, Dept Psychiat & Med Psychol, Fac Med 3, Prague, Czech Republic
First Author AffilicationKey Laboratory of Behavioral Science, CAS
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Ernst Pöppel,Ernst Pöppel,Lingyan Wang,et al. Seeing without knowing: Operational principles along the early visual pathway[J]. PSYCH JOURNAL,2016,5(3):145-160.
APA Ernst Pöppel,Ernst Pöppel,Lingyan Wang,Taoxi Yang,Yuliya Zaytseva,&Yan Bao.(2016).Seeing without knowing: Operational principles along the early visual pathway.PSYCH JOURNAL,5(3),145-160.
MLA Ernst Pöppel,et al."Seeing without knowing: Operational principles along the early visual pathway".PSYCH JOURNAL 5.3(2016):145-160.
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