Ewbank M P, Andrews T J, 2004, "fMR adaptation reveals modular representations of inanimate objects and places in human visual cortex" Perception 33 ECVP Abstract Supplement
fMR adaptation reveals modular representations of inanimate objects and places in human visual cortex
M P Ewbank, T J Andrews
The way information about objects is represented in visual cortex remains controversial. One model of human object recognition poses that information is processed in modules, highly specialised for different categories of objects; an opposing model appeals to a more distributed representation. To address this debate, we used fMR adaptation (the reduction in fMRI activity that follows the repeated presentation of identical images). First, we localised regions in visual cortex that showed selective responses to different categories of complex objects (faces, inanimate objects, or places). These regions of interest were then used as a mask for the subsequent analyses of fMR adaptation. We report that activity in object-selective regions in the lateral occipital lobe was reduced after repeated presentation of the same inanimate object. In contrast, place-selective regions in the parahippocampal gyrus showed a reduced response to repeated presentations of the same image of a place. Adaptation to places in parahippocampal gyrus was largely invariant to changes in image size or viewpoint. The absence of fMR adaptation in face-selective regions challenges the idea that a more distributed representation underlies object and place perception.
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