The First Half Second: The Microgenesis and Temporal Dynamics of Unconscious and Conscious Visual Processes

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Recent advances in the study of visual cognition and consciousness have dealt primarily with steady-state properties of visual processing, with little attention to its dynamic aspects. The First Half Second brings together for the first time the latest research on the dynamics of conscious and unconscious processing of visual information, examining the time-course of visual processes from the moment a stimulus is presented until it registers in a behavioral response or in consciousness a few hundred milliseconds later. The contributors analyze this "first half second" of visual processing — known as its microgenesis — from a variety of perspectives, including neuroscience, neuropsychology, psychophysics, psychology, and neural network modeling.

The book first treats conceptual, methodological, and historical issues and provides an integrated review of findings from recent studies on the neural underpinnings of consciousness. The book then turns to neurophysiological correlates of dynamic processing in vision,highlighting the temporal dimension of functional distinctions; visual masking and what it can tell us about the operation of both normal and abnormal brains; the dynamics of attentional mechanisms from electrophysiological, behavioral, and modeling perspectives; and temporal characteristics of object and feature perception. Finally, drawing on the foundations laid in earlier chapters, the book elaborates further on the dynamic relation of conscious and unconscious processes in vision.

The First Half Second fills the need for an interdisciplinary dialogue on the study of the dynamic aspects of visual processing and, with its rich empirical and theoretical findings, charts promising directions for future research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262051149
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2006
  • Pages: 452
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Haluk Ögmen is Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at theUniversity of Houston, and a member of the University of Houston Center for Neuro-Engineering andCognitive Science.

Bruno G. Breitmeyer is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Houston and a member of the University of Houston Center for Neuro-Engineering and Cognitive Science.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 Microgenesis of perception : conceptual, psychophysical, and neurobiological aspects 11
3 Neural correlates and levels of conscious and unconscious vision 35
4 Grasping the past and present : when does visuomotor priming occur? 51
5 The cortical processing dynamics of edge detection and scene segmentation 73
6 Consciousness absent and present : a neurophysiological exploration of masking 89
7 Computational models of visual masking 111
8 A reentrant view of visual masking, object substitution, and response priming 127
9 Dynamics of perceptual epochs probed by dissociation phenomena in masking 149
10 Backward masking in schizophrenia : neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and functional neuroimaging findings 171
11 The operation of attention - millisecond by millisecond - over the first half second 187
12 Competition for attention in space and time : the first 200 ms 207
13 Effects of masked stimuli on attention and response tendencies as revealed by event-related EEG potentials : possible application to understanding neglect 225
14 Perceptual consequences of timing differences within parallel feature-processing systems in human vision 245
15 The relationship of visual masking and basic object recognition in healthy observers and patients with schizophrenia 259
16 Neural mechanisms underlying temporal aspects of conscious visual perception 275
17 Response priming with and without awareness 297
18 Visual masking reveals differences between the nonconscious and conscious processing of form and surface attributes 315
19 The cognitive neuroscience of unconscious and conscious vision 335
20 Epilogue 353
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