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A model for the origin and properties of flicker-induced geometric phosphenes

Rule, M and Stoffregen, M and Ermentrout, B (2011) A model for the origin and properties of flicker-induced geometric phosphenes. PLoS Computational Biology, 7 (9). ISSN 1553-734X

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We present a model for flicker phosphenes, the spontaneous appearance of geometric patterns in the visual field when a subject is exposed to diffuse flickering light. We suggest that the phenomenon results from interaction of cortical lateral inhibition with resonant periodic stimuli. We find that the best temporal frequency for eliciting phosphenes is a multiple of intrinsic (damped) oscillatory rhythms in the cortex. We show how both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the patterns change with frequency of stimulation and provide an explanation for these differences. We use Floquet theory combined with the theory of pattern formation to derive the parameter regimes where the phosphenes occur. We use symmetric bifurcation theory to show why low frequency flicker should produce hexagonal patterns while high frequency produces pinwheels, targets, and spirals. © 2011 Rule et al.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rule, M
Stoffregen, M
Ermentrout, B
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Date: 1 September 2011
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Computational Biology
Volume: 7
Number: 9
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002158
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Mathematics
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1553-734X
MeSH Headings: Computational Biology; Computer Simulation; Flicker Fusion--physiology; Hallucinations--etiology; Hallucinations--physiopathology; Humans; Models, Neurological; Nerve Net--physiology; Phosphenes--physiology; Photic Stimulation; Visual Cortex--physiology
Other ID: NLM PMC3182860
PubMed Central ID: PMC3182860
PubMed ID: 21980269
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 20:05
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


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