The scientists established how the two areas worked by subjecting them to magnetic
fields for a short period which disrupted their normal brain activity. The research which is reported in Nature
Neuroscience represents an important step forward in understanding how the brain processes visual information.
Attention now switches to a further four areas of the extra-striate cortex which are also responsible for visual
function but whose specific individual roles are unknown.
Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) equipment at YNiC to pinpoint the
two brain areas, which they subsequently targeted with magnetic fields that temporarily disrupt neural activity.
They found that one area had a specialised and causal role in processing orientation while neural activity in the
other underpinned the processing of shape defined by differences in curvature.
"Measuring activity across the brain with FMRI can't tell us what causal role different
areas play in our perception. It is by disrupting brain function in specific areas that allows the causal role
of that area to be assessed," Professor Tony Morland, of York's Department of Psychology and the Hull York Medical School, said.
"Historically, neuropsychologists have found out a lot about the human brain by
examining people who have had permanent disruption of certain parts of the brain because of injury to it."
"Unfortunately, brain damage seldom occurs at the spatial scale that allows the function of small neighbouring
areas to be understood. Our approach is to temporarily disrupt brain activity by applying brief magnetic fields.
When these fields are applied to one, small area of the brain, we find that orientation tasks are harder, while
disrupting activity in this area's nearest neighbour only affected the ability to perceive shapes."
"The combination of modern brain scanning technology along with magnetic neuro-stimulation techniques provides
us with a powerful means by which we can study the workings of the living human brain," Dr Declan McKeefry, of the Bradford School
of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Bradford, added.
"The results that we report in this paper provide new insights into how the human brain embarks upon the complex
task of analysing objects that we see in the world around us. "Our work demonstrates how processing of different
aspects of visual objects, such as orientation and shape, occurs in different brain areas that lie side by side.
The ultimate challenge will be to reveal how this information is combined across these and other brain areas and
how it ultimately leads to object recognition."
Do We Live In A Computer Simulation Created By An Advanced Alien Civilization?
The captivating idea that we might be living in 3 dimensional holographic simulation has been put forward by various scientists.
We will explore this mind-boggling idea further and examine some intriguing questions.
If we suspect that we are programmed beings living inside a simulation is there any way for us to find out if this is true?
Is it possible to change the outcome of this virtual game?
Death Is Just An Illusion:
We Continue To Live In A Parallel Universe
For as long as anyone can remember philosophers, scientists and religious men have pondered what happens after death.
Is there life after death, or do we just vanish into the great unknown?
There is also a possibility there is no such thing as what we usually define as death.
A new scientific theory suggests that death is not the terminal event we think.