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Multiple asynchronous stimulus- and task-dependent hierarchies (STDH) within the visual brain's parallel processing systems

Zeki, S; (2016) Multiple asynchronous stimulus- and task-dependent hierarchies (STDH) within the visual brain's parallel processing systems. [Review]. European Journal of Neuroscience , 44 (8) pp. 2515-2527. 10.1111/ejn.13270. Green open access

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Abstract

Results from a variety of sources, some many years old, lead ineluctably to a re-appraisal of the twin strategies of hierarchical and parallel processing used by the brain to construct an image of the visual world. Contrary to common supposition, there are at least three ‘feed-forward’ anatomical hierarchies that reach the primary visual cortex (V1) and the specialized visual areas outside it, in parallel. These anatomical hierarchies do not conform to the temporal order with which visual signals reach the specialized visual areas through V1. Furthermore, neither the anatomical hierarchies nor the temporal order of activation through V1 predict the perceptual hierarchies. The latter shows that we see (and become aware of) different visual attributes at different times, with colour leading form (orientation) and directional visual motion, even though signals from fast-moving, high-contrast stimuli are among the earliest to reach the visual cortex (of area V5). Parallel processing, on the other hand, is much more ubiquitous than commonly supposed but is subject to a barely noticed but fundamental aspect of brain operations, namely that different parallel systems operate asynchronously with respect to each other and reach perceptual endpoints at different times. This re-assessment leads to the conclusion that the visual brain is constituted of multiple, parallel and asynchronously operating task- and stimulus-dependent hierarchies (STDH); which of these parallel anatomical hierarchies have temporal and perceptual precedence at any given moment is stimulus and task related, and dependent on the visual brain's ability to undertake multiple operations asynchronously.

Type: Article
Title: Multiple asynchronous stimulus- and task-dependent hierarchies (STDH) within the visual brain's parallel processing systems
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ejn.13270
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.13270
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Neurosciences, Neurosciences & Neurology, Asynchronous Processing, Dynamic Parallelism, Hierarchical Processing, Parallel Processing, Visual Cortex, Positron-Emission-Tomography, Lateral Geniculate-Nucleus, Monkey Aotus-Trivirgatus, Superior Temporal Sulcus, Conscious Color-Perception, Human Cerebral-Cortex, Macaque Area V4, Rhesus-Monkey, Striate Cortex, Object Recognition
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 Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1553597
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