Visual illusions and neurobiology

  title={Visual illusions and neurobiology},
  author={David M. Eagleman},
  journal={Nature Reviews Neuroscience},
  • D. Eagleman
  • Published 1 December 2001
  • Psychology, Biology
  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience
The complex structure of the visual system is sometimes exposed by its illusions. The historical study of systematic misperceptions, combined with a recent explosion of techniques to measure and stimulate neural activity, has provided a rich source for guiding neurobiological frameworks and experiments. 
Visual Illusions Based on Processes: New Classification System Needed
A new classification approach based on processing areas or mechanisms may not only be valuable for a better understanding of the visual system but also for diagnostics of impairments, degenerative effects, and lesions.
A Neuromathematical Model for Geometrical Optical Illusions
A mathematical model and a computational algorithm are provided which allows to interpret these phenomena and to qualitatively reproduce the perceived misperception.
Is the susceptibility to visual illusions related to the relative brain size? Insights from small-brained species
The past two decades have been characterized by a growing number of studies finding that apes, old-world monkeys, and new- world monkeys are susceptible to many visual illusions.
The brainwave response of optical illusion stimulus
The results showed that the responds of the optical illusion have different response time and voltage with the different coarseness at the visual area.
Neuronal codes for visual perception and memory
[Illusions: a window into perception].
The biological roots of visual illusions and their interplay with some neurobiological, philosophical and esthetical issues are examined.
Temporal processing characteristics of the Ponzo illusion
Although the Ponzo illusion is established rapidly within the visual system, the full integration of context information is based on more time-consuming and later visual processing.
Visual illusions: brain and consciousness
In his review on illusions David Eagleman assumed that “The complex structure of the visual system is sometimes exposed by its illusions“ and further “The act of ‘seeing‘ seems so effortless that it
Brain activity associated with multistable perceptions: a functional MRI study
Functional magnetic resonance imaging is used to compare brain activities during multistable and monostable perceptions presenting a diamond changing its width and suggests that activity in a distributed network of the parietal and prefrontal areas might be associated withMultistable perceptions.
Vision, illusions, and reality.
  • C. Kennard
  • Art, Biology
    International review of neurobiology
  • 2006


Illusory contours and cortical neuron responses.
Figures in which human observers perceive "illusory contours" were found to evoke responses in cells of area 18 in the visual cortex of alert monkeys, and cells in area 17 were apparently unable to "see" these contours.
Illusions: What you see is what you hear
It is shown that auditory information can qualitatively alter the perception of an unambiguous visual stimulus to create a striking visual illusion, indicating that visual perception can be manipulated by other sensory modalities.
The Fourier Theory of Vision
The historical roots of the Fourier theory of spatial visual perception are traced. The development of the underlying concepts and the psychophysical experiments that led to them, and that they in
Electroencephalographic Correlates of Binocular Rivalry in Man
Under conditions of ocular rivalry, changes in the rhythmic brain response to flicker stimulation of one eye correspond closely to the subject's report of changes in the perceptual dominance of that
Separate visual pathways for perception and action
Neural correlates of perceptual rivalry in the human brain.
The results suggest that frontoparietal areas play a central role in conscious perception, biasing the content of visual awareness toward abstract internal representations of visual scenes, rather than simply toward space.
Neuronal correlates of visibility and invisibility in the primate visual system
The temporal characteristics of masking illusions in humans and corresponding neuronal responses in the primary visual cortex of awake and anesthetized monkeys are compared to suggest that, for targets that can be masked (those of short duration), the transient neuronal responses associated with onset and turning off of the target may be important in its visibility.
Phenomena of Illusory Form: Can We Bridge the Gap between Levels of Explanation?
An integrative approach is favoured to the question of how illusory form is derived from stimulus configurations which provide the visual system with seemingly incomplete information, and it is proposed that different levels of analysis and explanation are not mutually exclusive, but complementary.
Time perception: Brain time or event time?