Neural basis of spatial and temporal stability of conscious vision

henry railo_PIC.jpg
Henry Railo, PhD, Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital

Neural basis of spatial and temporal stability of conscious vision
Humans shift their gaze from detail to detail by using eye movements. Although each eye movement changes the position of the image that is reflected to the retinas of the eyes, we experience a spatially stable stream of vision that is uninterrupted by eye movements. To achieve this stable stream of vision, the brain must take into account the eye movement, and temporarily suppress vision during rapid gaze shifts. How the brain does this, remains to be solved. The present research approaches this question from two perspectives. First, we test a theory according to which visual stability is achieved by suppressing in the ability of visual brain areas to communicate with higher brain areas during eye movements. Second, we study whether the disruption of these mechanisms leads to a breakdown in visual stability in specific clinical populations (e.g. Parkinson’s disease). Deficits in visual stability could compromise spatial cognition and lead to symptoms such as vertigo and hallucinations.

Brain mechanisms underlying conscious and unconscious visual processing
How does the brain enable us to consciously experience visual information? How can visual information sometimes influence behaviour even when subjects fail to consciously perceive the stimulus? 

Capacity limits of conscious visual perception
The capacity of our conscious visual perception is very limited. What factors restrict the amount of information that can be consciously perceived? 

Full list of publications:
Updates about or research and other misc stuff:

  1. Hurme, M., Koivisto, M., Revonsuo, A., & Railo, H. (2017). Early processing in primary visual cortex is necessary for conscious and unconscious vision while late processing is necessary only for conscious vision in neurologically healthy humans. NeuroImage, 150, 230-238. 
  2. Railo, H., Tuominen, J., Kaasinen, V., & Pesonen, H. (2017). Dynamic changes in cortical effective connectivity underlie transsaccadic integration in humans. Cerebral Cortex, 27, 3609-3617.
  3. Railo, H., Revonsuo, A., & Koivisto, M. (2015). Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence for fast emergence of visual consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness. doi: 10.1093/nc/niv004
  4. Railo, H., Koivisto, M., Revonsuo, A. (2011). Tracking the processes behind conscious perception: A review of event-related potential correlates of visual consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition, 20, 972-983.

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