The dynamics of visual experience, an eeg study of subjective pattern formation

Elliott, Mark A.
Twomey, Deirdre
Glennon, Mark
Elliott, Mark A. Twomey, Deirdre; Glennon, Mark (2012). The dynamics of visual experience, an eeg study of subjective pattern formation. PLoS ONE 7 (1),
Background: Since the origin of psychological science a number of studies have reported visual pattern formation in the absence of either physiological stimulation or direct visual-spatial references. Subjective patterns range from simple phosphenes to complex patterns but are highly specific and reported reliably across studies. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using independent-component analysis (ICA) we report a reduction in amplitude variance consistent with subjective-pattern formation in ventral posterior areas of the electroencephalogram (EEG). The EEG exhibits significantly increased power at delta/theta and gamma-frequencies (point and circle patterns) or a series of high-frequency harmonics of a delta oscillation (spiral patterns). Conclusions/Significance: Subjective-pattern formation may be described in a way entirely consistent with identical pattern formation in fluids or granular flows. In this manner, we propose subjective-pattern structure to be represented within a spatio-temporal lattice of harmonic oscillations which bind topographically organized visual-neuronal assemblies by virtue of low frequency modulation.
Public Library of Science (PLoS)
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland