October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Neural Correlates of Perceptual Filling-In as Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yih-Shiuan Lin
    Institute of Psychology, University of Regensburg
  • Chien-Chung Chen
    Department of Psychology, National Taiwan University
    Neurobiology and Cognitive Science Center, National Taiwan University
  • Mark W. Greenlee
    Institute of Psychology, University of Regensburg
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Author YSL was supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, Bonn Germany) in the form of a research grant for doctoral programs. Author CCC was supported by MOST 106-2410-H-002-074-MY2. Author MWG was supported by DFG grant number GR988 25-1.
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 279. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.279
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      Yih-Shiuan Lin, Chien-Chung Chen, Mark W. Greenlee; Neural Correlates of Perceptual Filling-In as Measured by Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):279. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.279.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Perceptual filling-in describes the phenomenon when our visual system replaces the central missing information with the surround features. We investigated such center-surround modulation by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Three radial sinusoidal grating stimuli were used in an event-related fMRI experiment: a full-field grating (center-surround), a filling-in grating with a crescent artificial scotoma in the periphery on each of the visual field (surround-only), and a pedestal grating containing radial pattern only in the scotoma locations (center-only). We doubled the trial number of the filling-in grating and adjusted the pattern luminance contrast for each observer until they perceived filling-in in about 50% of the trials, making it possible to compare the BOLD signal with and without reported filling-in. On each trial, one of the three gratings flickered in counterphase for 10 seconds, followed by a 14 seconds blank period. Observers were to press a button whenever the fixation point changed color, and to report whether filling-in was experienced during the presentation of the filling-in gratings. The functional regions of interest (ROIs) of the scotoma in the visual cortex (V1-3) were determined in an independent localizer session in which an on-and-off flickering checkerboard were presented in the “scotoma” location. The univariate analysis results showed no BOLD activation difference in the ROIs between the filling-in and non-filling-in trials, suggesting that the overall activation level did not correspond to the subjective percept. Interestingly, the BOLD activation was stronger in the pedestal condition compared to the full-field condition, indicating that adding the surround reduced the center activation. This finding supports that lateral inhibition was introduced from the surround. The multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) results showed that response patterns in the visual cortex can significantly differentiate between filling-in and non-filling-in trials, suggesting that the neural activation pattern depends on the subjective percept of the observers.


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