Like a private movie screen showing personalized films, each person's mind's eye generates
a flow of imaginary visual scenes. These internal performances are inspired by a variety of
sources, from a riveting mystery novel to memories of last summer's Olympics.
A new study by neuroscientists lends support to the notion that at least some of the brain
regions involved in visual perception of the external world animate the mind's eye as well.
California researchers probed the neural roots of the mind's eye in four men and five
women suffering from severe, uncontrollable brain seizures. So that the scientists could identify
the neural epicenter of the seizures for possible surgical removal, each patient had electrodes
implanted in the same general area of his or her brain for 1 to 2 weeks.
During that time, volunteers viewed pairs of pictures that included faces, objects, and
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