Explaining the Neurobiology of Illusions: A Talk from Caltech

Professor Markus Meister gives a fascinating talk on the neurobiology of vision as part of a TEDx conference at Caltech. He references two visual illusions both of which involve colour perception. Two very interesting explanations are offered based on sensory processing in the retina and possible cells responsible for these effects are identified.

Contrasting Visual Hallucinations and Visual Illusions

Visual hallucinations are complex phenomenon that occur in many types of illness. Visual hallucinations are distinct from visual illusions. Visual illusions occur in the presence of a visual stimulus whilst visual hallucinations occur without this stimulus. A better understanding of visual illusions will be helpful in better understanding visual hallucinations.

The Promise of Neuroscience

The neuroscience of visions is well developed. Visual pathways in many species including humans have been very well characterised. Professor Meister’s talk hints at the sophisticated understanding of the circuitry particularly in the retina. If common themes are identified at the stage of retinal processing it may simplify the task of linking phenomenological experience and psychopathology to neurobiology.

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.


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