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The Visual (Un)Conscious and Its (Dis)ContentsA microtemporal approach$
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Bruno G. Breitmeyer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712237

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712237.001.0001

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The dorsal pathway’s contributions to perception and top-down influences on processing in the ventral pathway

The dorsal pathway’s contributions to perception and top-down influences on processing in the ventral pathway

Chapter:
(p.103) Chapter 6 The dorsal pathway’s contributions to perception and top-down influences on processing in the ventral pathway
Source:
The Visual (Un)Conscious and Its (Dis)Contents
Author(s):

Bruno G. Breitmeyer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712237.003.0006

The dorsal cortical pathway, dominated by magnocellular input, has little, if any, direct role in conscious processing. However, it does have a direct role in the registration in consciousness of various types of motion and manipulable objects, and an indirect role by influencing the ventral cortical pathway, dominated by parvocellular input, which is theoretically more closely tied to qualia-rich conscious vision. The dorsal magnocellular pathway activates the prefrontal cortex, which, in turn, via top-down projections to the inferotemporal cortex in the ventral cortical stream, influences how visual information is processed there. Contrast-dependent conscious priming effects are best described by the contrast response of magnocellular neurons, whereas contrast-dependent unconscious processing effects are best described by the contrast response of parvocellular neurons. A model is proposed in which the top-down projection from the magnocellular-activated prefrontal sites to the inferotemporal cortex “ignites” a cascade of feedforward–feedback loops.

Keywords:   bottom-up feedforward processing, top-down reentrant processing, ventral pathway, dorsal pathway, masked/unmasked priming

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