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.
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