Abstract： With a mere glimpse of a scene, observers can grasp a variety of perceptual and semantic information. This is referred to as scene gist. In recent years, scene gist processing has become an important topic in visual perception domain. Research on this theme can reveal the processing mechanisms for visual information and provide important implications for developing intelligent machine vision. The influencing factors, the controversial issues, and the neural basis of scene gist processing are reviewed. Some important issues, including the primary element of scene gist processing, the relevant theoretical explanations, the modulating factors of the hierarchical processing, the modulatory effect of attention, the timing dynamic characteristics and the construction of the brain function network, should be further explored.