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Frontiers of ConsciousnessChichele Lectures$
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Lawrence Weiskrantz and Martin Davies

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199233151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199233151.001.0001

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Conscious and unconscious visual processing in the human brain

Conscious and unconscious visual processing in the human brain

(p.169) Chapter 5 Conscious and unconscious visual processing in the human brain
Frontiers of Consciousness

A. David Milner

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses two distinct and quasi-separate brain systems, the dorsal and ventral visual streams. First, it uses the metaphor of two people singing from the same hymn sheet, and argues that the two visual streams necessarily sing from different, though in large part mutually consistent ones. It then considers evidence derived from experimental strategies to inquire into the nature of the hymn sheets from which each visual processing stream is singing. Clearly the hymn sheets have to be different. In order to provide direct control of one's movements, the dorsal stream has to see the world egocentrically, that is to code visual information in direct relation to the observer's body coordinates. In contrast, the ventral stream specifically needs to encode the world in a way that will be useful not only in the short but also in the long term, for which purpose egocentric coding would be useless.

Keywords:   visual stream, visual processing, dorsal stream, visual information, ventral stream

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