Linking Electrical Stimulation of Human Primary Visual Cortex, Size of Affected Cortical Area, Neuronal Responses, and Subjective Experience

Jonathan Winawer, Josef Parvizi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Electrical brain stimulation (EBS) complements neural measurements by probing the causal relationship between brain and perception, cognition, and action. Many fundamental questions about EBS remain unanswered, including the spatial extent of cortex responsive to stimulation, and the relationship between the circuitry engaged by EBS and the types of neural responses elicited by sensory stimulation. Here, we measured neural responses and the effects of EBS in primary visual cortex in four patients implanted with intracranial electrodes. Using stimulation, behavior, and retinotopic mapping, we show the relationship between the size of affected cortical area and the magnitude of electrical charge. Furthermore, we show that the spatial location of electrically induced visual sensations is matched to the receptive field of the cortical site measured with broadband field potentials, and less so with event related potentials. Together, these findings broaden our knowledge about the mechanism of EBS and the neuromodulation of the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1213-1219
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 21 2016



  • Conscious Perception
  • Cortical Magnification
  • Direct Cortical Stimulation
  • Electrocorticography
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Phosphenes
  • Population Receptive Fields
  • Primary Visual Cortex (V1)
  • Retinotopy
  • Visual hallucination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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