Skip to main content Accessibility help

The folly of boxology

  • Diane M. Beck (a1) and John Clevenger (a1)


Although the authors do a valuable service by elucidating the pitfalls of inferring top-down effects, they overreach by claiming that vision is cognitively impenetrable. Their argument, and the entire question of cognitive penetrability, seems rooted in a discrete, stage-like model of the mind that is unsupported by neural data.



Hide All
Baldauf, D. & Desimone, R. (2014) Neural mechanisms of object-based attention. Science 344(6182):424–27. Availabile at:
Buffalo, E. A., Bertini, G., Ungerleider, L. G. & Desimone, R. (2005) Impaired filtering of distracter stimuli by TE neurons following V4 and TEO lesions in Macaques. Cerebral Cortex 15(2):141–51. Available at:
Çukur, T., Nishimoto, S., Huth, A. G. & Gallant, J. L. (2013) Attention during natural vision warps semantic representation across the human brain. Nature Neuroscience 16(6):763–70. Available at:
Esterman, M. & Yantis, S. (2010) Perceptual expectation evokes category-selective cortical activity. Cerebral Cortex 20(5):1245–53. Available at:
Gilbert, C. D. & Li, W. (2013) Top-down influences on visual processing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14(5):350–63.
Hsieh, P.-J., Vul, E. & Kanwisher, N. (2010) Recognition alters the spatial pattern of FMRI activation in early retinotopic cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 103:1501–507. Available at:
Hung, C. P., Kreiman, G., Poggio, T. & DiCarlo, J. J. (2005) Fast readout of object identity from macaque inferior temporal cortex. Science 310(5749):863–66. Available at:
Kok, P., Jehee, J. F. M. & de Lange, F. P. (2012) Less is more: Expectation sharpens representations in the primary visual cortex. Neuron 75(2):265–70. Available at:
Lee, S.-H., Blake, R. & Heeger, D. J. (2005) Traveling waves of activity in primary visual cortex during binocular rivalry. Nature Neuroscience 8(1):2223. Available at:
Leopold, D. A. & Logothetis, N. K. (1996) Activity changes in early visual cortex reflect monkeys' percepts during binocular rivalry. Nature 379:549–53. Available at:
Li, W., Piëch, V. & Gilbert, C. D. (2006) Contour saliency in primary visual cortex. Neuron 50(6):951–62.
Logothetis, N. K. & Schall, J. D. (1989) Neuronal correlates of subjective visual perception. Science 245(4919):761–63. Available at:
Moore, T. & Armstrong, K. M. (2003) Selective gating of visual signals by microstimulation of frontal cortex. Nature 421(6921):370–73. Available at:
Motter, B. C. (1993) Focal attention produces spatially selective processing in visual cortical areas V1, V2, and V4 in the presence of competing stimuli. Journal of Neurophysiology 70(3):909–19. Available at:
Newsome, W. T., Britten, K. H. & Movshon, J. A. (1989) Neuronal correlates of a perceptual decision. Nature 341(6237):5254. Available at:
O'Connor, D. H., Fukui, M. M., Pinsk, M. A. & Kastner, S. (2002) Attention modulates responses in the human lateral geniculate nucleus. Nature Neuroscience 5(11):1203–209. Available at:
Pascual-Leone, A. & Walsh, V. (2001) Fast backprojections from the motion to the primary visual area necessary for visual awareness. Science 292(5516):510–12. Available at:
Roelfsema, P. R. & Spekreijse, H. (2001) The representation of erroneously perceived stimuli in the primary visual cortex. Neuron 31(5):853–63. Available at:
Scolari, M., Byers, A. & Serences, J. T. (2012) Optimal deployment of attentional gain during fine discriminations. Journal of Neuroscience 32(22):7723–33. Available at:
van Loon, A. M., Fahrenfort, J. J., van der Velde, B., Lirk, P. B., Vulink, N. C. C., Hollmann, M. W., Scholte, S. & Lamme, V. A. F. (2015) NMDA receptor antagonist ketamine distorts object recognition by reducing feedback to early visual cortex. Cerebral Cortex 26(5):1986–96. . Available at:
Walther, D. B., Caddigan, E., Fei-Fei, L. & Beck, D. M. (2009) Natural scene categories revealed in distributed patterns of activity in the human brain. Journal of Neuroscience 29(34):10573–81. Available at:
Wunderlich, K., Schneider, K. A. & Kastner, S. (2005) Neural correlates of binocular rivalry in the human lateral geniculate nucleus. Nature Neuroscience 8(11):1595–602. Available at:

The folly of boxology

  • Diane M. Beck (a1) and John Clevenger (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed