No representation without awareness in the lateral occipital cortex

Thomas A. Carlson, Robert Rauschenberger*, Frans A J Verstraten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT Recent research has shown that four small dots presented in the vicinity of, but not adjacent to, a target stimulus can banish that stimulus from conscious awareness. It is thought that the mental representation of the masked stimulus is "erased" by the trailing quartet of dots. Using functional magnetic resonance adaptation, we show that there is no persisting neural representation of the successfully masked stimulus in lateral occipital cortex, a region that has been implicated in the processing of object structure. This finding rules out the alternative interpretation that a lingering neural representation is merely rendered inaccessible to consciousness, as is the fate, for example, of monocular information under conditions of binocular rivalry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-302
Number of pages5
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


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