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The neural monitoring of visceral inputs, rather than attention, accounts for first-person perspective in conscious vision

Tallon-Baudry, C; Campana, F; Park, H-D; Babo-Rebelo, M; (2018) The neural monitoring of visceral inputs, rather than attention, accounts for first-person perspective in conscious vision. Cortex , 102 pp. 139-149. 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.019. Green open access

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Abstract

Why should a scientist whose aim is to unravel the neural mechanisms of perception consider brain-body interactions seriously? Brain-body interactions have traditionally been associated with emotion, effort, or stress, but not with the “cold” processes of perception and attention. Here, we review recent experimental evidence suggesting a different picture: the neural monitoring of bodily state, and in particular the neural monitoring of the heart, affects visual perception. The impact of spontaneous fluctuations of neural responses to heartbeats on visual detection is as large as the impact of explicit manipulations of spatial attention in perceptual tasks. However, we propose that the neural monitoring of visceral inputs plays a specific role in conscious perception, distinct from the role of attention. The neural monitoring of organs such as the heart or the gut would generate a subject-centered reference frame, from which the first-person perspective inherent to conscious perception can develop. In this view, conscious perception results from the integration of visual content with first-person perspective.

Type: Article
Title: The neural monitoring of visceral inputs, rather than attention, accounts for first-person perspective in conscious vision
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.019
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.019
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Vision, Perception, Attention, Consciousness, Heartbeat evoked response, Default network, Heart, Self
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10082541
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