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Parietal cortex mediates perceptual grouping of local elements into a whole

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84327

Zaretskaya,  N
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83797

Bartels,  A
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Zaretskaya, N., Anstis, S., & Bartels, A. (2011). Parietal cortex mediates perceptual grouping of local elements into a whole. Poster presented at 12th Conference of Junior Neuroscientists of Tübingen (NeNA 2011), Heiligkreuztal, Germany.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B9DA-3
Abstract
Grouping local elements into a holistic percept, also known as spatial binding, is crucial for meaningful perception. Lesions in posterior parts of the brain are known to impair perceptual grouping, but in the healthy brain this process has only been studied indirectly. Here we use a novel bi-stable illusion, which induces alternating and mutually exclusive subjective experiences of either grouped (global) or ungrouped (local) elements, while the visual stimulation remains the same. We show that global perceptual periods are related to stronger brain activity in the parietal cortex and that they are selectively shortened when parietal activity is disturbed by brain stimulation. Our findings thus provide direct evidence that consciously experienced grouping is mediated by parietal function, similar to attention and perceptual selection.