Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Continuing Commentary
Commentary on Luiz Pessoa, Evan Thompson, and Alva Noë (1998) Finding out about filling-in: A guide to perceptual completion for visual science and the philosophy of perception. BBS 21:723–802.

Perceptual filling-in and the resonant binding of distributed cortical representations

Tony Vladusich a1
a1 Centre for Visual Science, Research School of Biological Sciences, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia [email protected]


Pessoa et al. (1998a) summarize a wide body of data suggesting that perceptual filling-in phenomena can be attributed to neural filling-in processes. However, they reject, on philosophical grounds, the hypothesis that filled-in representations in the brain are the immediate substrate of visual percepts. It is proposed in this commentary that resonant binding between distributed cortical areas may instead be the crucial ingredient for conscious visual percepts, and that filling-in processes may facilitate the interactions between behaving organisms and object surfaces. These suggestions circumvent some of the philosophical problems associated with the idea of localized visual representations.