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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


As raw sensory data are partial, our visual system extensively fills in missing details, creating enriched percepts based on incomplete bottom-up information. Despite evidence for internally generated representations at early stages of cortical processing, it is not known whether these representations include missing information of dynamically transforming objects. Long-range apparent motion (AM) provides a unique test case because objects in AM can undergo changes both in position and in features. Using fMRI and encoding methods, we found that the “intermediate” orientation of an apparently rotating grating, never presented in the retinal input but interpolated during AM, is reconstructed in population-level, feature-selective tuning responses in the region of early visual cortex (V1) that corresponds to the retinotopic location of the AM path. This neural representation is absent when AM inducers are presented simultaneously and when AM is visually imagined. Our results demonstrate dynamic filling-in in V1 for object features that are interpolated during kinetic transformations.