Functional representation of vision within the mind: A visual consciousness model based in 3D default space

Ravinder Jerath, Molly W. Crawford, Vernon A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The human eyes and brain, which have finite boundaries, create a "virtual" space within our central nervous system that interprets and perceives a space that appears boundless and infinite. Using insights from studies on the visual system, we propose a novel fast processing mechanism involving the eyes, visual pathways, and cortex where external vision is imperceptibly processed in our brain in real time creating an internal representation of external space that appears as an external view. We introduce the existence of a three-dimension default space consisting of intrapersonal body space that serves as the framework where visual and non-visual sensory information is sensed and experienced. We propose that the thalamus integrates processed information from corticothalamic feedback loops and fills-in the neural component of 3D default space with an internal visual representation of external space, leading to the experience of visual consciousness. This visual space inherently evades perception so we have introduced three easy clinical tests that can assist in experiencing this visual space. We also review visual neuroanatomical pathways, binocular vision, neurological disorders, and visual phenomenon to elucidate how the representation of external visible space is recreated within the mind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-56
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Hypotheses and Ideas
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • 3D default space
  • Corticothalamic feedback loops
  • Intrapersonal space
  • Retina
  • Thalamus
  • Visual consciousness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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