Neural substrates of dynamic object occlusion

Sarah M. Shuwairi, Clayton E. Curtis, Scott P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In everyday environments, objects frequently go out of sight as they move and our view of them becomes obstructed by nearer objects, yet we perceive these objects as continuous and enduring entities. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging with an attentive tracking paradigm to clarify the nature of perceptual and cognitive mechanisms subserving this ability to fill in the gaps in perception of dynamic object occlusion. Imaging data revealed distinct regions of cortex showing increased activity during periods of occlusion relative to full visibility. These regions may support active maintenance of a representation of the target's spatiotemporal properties ensuring that the object is perceived as a persisting entity when occluded. Our findings may shed light on the neural substrates involved in object tracking that give rise to the phenomenon of object permanence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1285
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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