The chronometry of visual perception: review of occipital TMS masking studies

de Graaf, T.A., Koivisto, M., Jacobs, C. and Sack, A.T. 2014. The chronometry of visual perception: review of occipital TMS masking studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 45, pp. 295-304. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.06.017

TitleThe chronometry of visual perception: review of occipital TMS masking studies
Authorsde Graaf, T.A., Koivisto, M., Jacobs, C. and Sack, A.T.
Abstract

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) continues to deliver on its promise as a research tool. In this review article we focus on the application of TMS to early visual cortex (V1, V2, V3) in studies of visual perception and visual awareness. Depending on the asynchrony between visual stimulus onset and TMS pulse (SOA), TMS can suppress visual perception, allowing one to track the time course of functional relevance (chronometry) of early visual cortex for vision. This procedure has revealed multiple masking effects (‘dips’), some consistently (∼+100 ms SOA) but others less so (∼−50 ms, ∼−20 ms, ∼+30 ms, ∼+200 ms SOA). We review the state of TMS masking research, focusing on the evidence for these multiple dips, the relevance of several experimental parameters to the obtained ‘masking curve’, and the use of multiple measures of visual processing (subjective measures of awareness, objective discrimination tasks, priming effects). Lastly, we consider possible future directions for this field. We conclude that while TMS masking has yielded many fundamental insights into the chronometry of visual perception already, much remains unknown. Not only are there several temporal windows when TMS pulses can induce visual suppression, even the well-established ‘classical’ masking effect (∼+100 ms) may reflect more than one functional visual process.

JournalNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Journal citation45, pp. 295-304
ISSN0149-7634
Year2014
PublisherElsevier
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.06.017
Publication dates
PublishedSep 2014

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