Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of subjects attempting to detect a visual change occurring during a screen flicker was used to distinguish the neural correlates of change detection from those of change blindness. Change detection resulted in enhanced activity in the parietal and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex as well as category-selective regions of the extrastriate visual cortex (for example, fusiform gyrus for changing faces). Although change blindness resulted in some extrastriate activity, the dorsal activations were clearly absent. These results demonstrate the importance of parietal and dorsolateral frontal activations for conscious detection of changes in properties coded in the ventral visual pathway, and thus suggest a key involvement of dorsal-ventral interactions in visual awareness.
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