Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Hierarchical models of visual processing assume that global pattern recognition is contingent on the progressive integration of local elements across larger spatial regions, operating from early through intermediate to higher-level cortical regions. Here, we present results from neuropsychological fMRI that refute such models. We report two patients, one with lesions to intermediate ventral regions and the other with damage around the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). The patient with ventral damage showed normal behavioral and BOLD responses to global Glass patterns. The patient with IPS damage was impaired in discriminating global patterns and showed a lack of significant responses to these patterns in intermediate visual regions spared by the lesion. However, this patient did show BOLD activity to translational patterns, where local element relations are important. These results suggest that activation of intermediate ventral regions is not necessary to code global patterns; instead global patterns are coded in a heterarchical fashion. High-level regions of dorsal cortex are necessary to generate global pattern coding in intermediate ventral regions; in contrast, local integration processes are not sufficient.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cogn Neurosci

Publication Date





621 - 634


Aged, 80 and over, Brain, Brain Damage, Chronic, Brain Mapping, Cerebral Cortex, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Female, Form Perception, Humans, Linear Models, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Neurological, Neuropsychological Tests, Oxygen, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Photic Stimulation, Task Performance and Analysis, Visual Pathways