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The Rank Lecture: Has imaging told us anything new about human visual organisation?
Title of the conference
33rd European Conference on Visual Perception
Lausanne, Switzerland, August 22-26, 2010
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
The functional architecture of the occipital cortex is being studied with increasing detail. Functional and structural MR based imaging are altering views about the organisation of the human visual system. Recent advances have ranged from comparative studies with non-human primates to predictive scanning. The latter multivariate technique describes with sub-voxel resolution patterns of activity that are characteristic of specific visual experiences. One can deduce what a subject experienced visually from the pattern of cortical activity recorded. The challenge for the future is to understand visual functions in terms of cerebral computations at a mesoscopic level of description and to relate this information to electrophysiology. The principal medical application of this new knowledge has focused to a large extent on plasticity and the capacity for functional reorganisation. Crossmodality visual-sensory interactions and cross-correlations between visual and other cerebral areas in the resting state are areas of considerable current interest. The lecture will review findings over the last two decades and reflect on possible roles for imaging studies in the future.
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