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Proceedings Paper

Visual imagery without visual perception: lessons from blind subjects
Author(s): Helder Bértolo
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Paper Abstract

The question regarding visual imagery and visual perception remain an open issue. Many studies have tried to understand if the two processes share the same mechanisms or if they are independent, using different neural substrates. Most research has been directed towards the need of activation of primary visual areas during imagery. Here we review some of the works providing evidence for both claims. It seems that studying visual imagery in blind subjects can be used as a way of answering some of those questions, namely if it is possible to have visual imagery without visual perception. We present results from the work of our group using visual activation in dreams and its relation with EEG’s spectral components, showing that congenitally blind have visual contents in their dreams and are able to draw them; furthermore their Visual Activation Index is negatively correlated with EEG alpha power. This study supports the hypothesis that it is possible to have visual imagery without visual experience.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 August 2014
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9286, Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, 92862K (22 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2066101
Show Author Affiliations
Helder Bértolo, ISEC – Instituto Superior de Educação e Ciências (Portugal)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9286:
Second International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
Manuel Filipe P. C. Martins Costa; Rogério Nunes Nogueira, Editor(s)

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