Local artificial stimulation in high level visual areas of the brain induces complex perceptual events. Anecdotal descriptions of these events fall into two broad categories: ‘hallucinations’, which add a consistent and specific pictorial element to the contents of perception, and ‘distortions’, which transform the ongoing visual perception. Distortions are not pictorially consistent as they vary based on the visual input. Systematic description of such characteristics of stimulation-induced perceptual events is a necessary step for understanding how neural activity gives rise to perception, and is also critical for development of visual prosthetic devices. Here, we implanted arrays of LEDs over inferior temporal cortices of macaque monkeys and trained them to detect and report short optogenetic impulses delivered to their cortices. In a series of experiments, we observed that the ability to detect cortical stimulation highly depends on the choice of images presented to the eyes and that detection of cortical stimulation is most difficult when the animal fixates on a blank screen. Local stimulation of object selective parts of the visual cortex is shown here to induce perceptual events that are easy to detect and contain a strong distortive component. The causal contribution of inferior temporal neurons to perception does not seem to be strongly predetermined, as it depends on the state of vision. These findings also open the door to expanding the scope of visual prosthetics beyond the primary visual cortex.