Short-Term Memory for Figure-Ground Organization in the Visual Cortex

Philip John O'Herron, Rüdiger von der Heydt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whether the visual system uses a buffer to store image information and the duration of that storage have been debated intensely in recent psychophysical studies. The long phases of stable perception of reversible figures suggest a memory that persists for seconds. But persistence of similar duration has not been found in signals of the visual cortex. Here, we show that figure-ground signals in the visual cortex can persist for a second or more after the removal of the figure-ground cues. When new figure-ground information is presented, the signals adjust rapidly, but when a figure display is changed to an ambiguous edge display, the signals decay slowly-a behavior that is characteristic of memory devices. Figure-ground signals represent the layout of objects in a scene, and we propose that a short-term memory for object layout is important in providing continuity of perception in the rapid stream of images flooding our eyes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)801-809
Number of pages9
JournalNeuron
Volume61
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 12 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Visual Cortex
Short-Term Memory
Information Storage and Retrieval
Cues
Buffers
Equipment and Supplies

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Short-Term Memory for Figure-Ground Organization in the Visual Cortex. / O'Herron, Philip John; von der Heydt, Rüdiger.

In: Neuron, Vol. 61, No. 5, 12.03.2009, p. 801-809.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

O'Herron, Philip John ; von der Heydt, Rüdiger. / Short-Term Memory for Figure-Ground Organization in the Visual Cortex. In: Neuron. 2009 ; Vol. 61, No. 5. pp. 801-809.
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