Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
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How are the bits and pieces of retinal information assembled and integrated to form the coherent objects that we see? One long-established principle is that elements that move as a group are linked together. For instance a fragmented line-drawing of an object, placed on a background of randomly distributed short lines, can be impossible to see. But if the object moves relative to the background, its shape is instantly recognized. Even after the motion stops, the percept of the object persists briefly before it fades into the background of random lines. Where in the brain does the percept of the object persist? Using functional brain imaging, we found that such moving line-drawings activated both motion-sensitive areas (medial temporal complex, MT+) and object-sensitive areas (lateral occipital complex, LOC). However, after the motion stopped only the LOC maintained its activity while the percept endured. Evidently a percept assembled by motion-sensitive areas like MT+ can be stored, at least briefly, in the LOC.