Border ownership selectivity in human early visual cortex and its modulation by attention

Fang Fang, Huseyin Boyaci, Daniel Kersten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Natural images are usually cluttered because objects occlude one another. A critical aspect of recognizing these visual objects is to identify the borders between image regions that belong to different objects. However, the neural coding of border ownership in human visual cortex is largely unknown. In this study, we designed two simple but compelling stimuli in which a slight change of contextual information could induce a dramatic change of border ownership. Using functional MRI adaptation, we found that border ownership selectivity in V2 was robust and reliable across subjects, and it was largely dependent on attention. Our study provides the first human evidence that V2 is a critical area for the processing of border ownership and that this processing depends on the modulation from higher-level cortical areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-465
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2009


  • Attention
  • Border ownership
  • Figure- ground segregation
  • Vision
  • Visual cortex
  • fMRI


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