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Drew Linsley, Sean MacEvoy; Convergence of object and scene layout information in parahippocampal place area. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):1068. doi: 10.1167/13.9.1068.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Behavioral data suggest that scene recognition draws heavily upon analysis of global scene properties, such as three-dimensional layout (Greene & Oliva, 2009). At the same time, scene recognition is strongly influenced by the kinds of objects scenes contain (Davenport & Potter, 2004; Joubert et al., 2007; MacEvoy and Epstein 2011). It is unclear how information from object- and global property-based routes to scene recognition combine to generate unitary judgments of scene identity. Recently, we have demonstrated that these routes converge at least partially at a perceptual level, with the presence of diagnostic objects in scenes influencing the encoded values of scenes’ global properties (Linsley and MacEvoy, VSS 2012). In the present study, we used event-related fMRI to understand where in the visual system this convergence occurs. In a preliminary phase, a web-based survey was used to rank 500 exemplars of bathrooms on the basis of "spaciousness", a perceptual quantity linked to scene layout parameters. Participants in the fMRI phase viewed briefly-presented exemplars of "average" bathrooms from the middle quintile of spaciousness rankings and "extreme" exemplars from the top and bottom quintiles; the latter were shown both intact and with diagnostic objects masked. Similar to Kravitz et al. (2011), multi-voxel activity patterns evoked in the parahippocampal place area (PPA) by intact bathrooms of extreme spaciousness differed more from each other than from average bathrooms. In parallel with our previous behavioral results showing that the presence of objects in scenes tends to drive encoded spatial properties towards those of the category average, PPA patterns evoked by extreme bathrooms differed significantly more from those evoked by average bathrooms when their objects were masked versus when they were intact. These results provide evidence for convergence of object and global properties information in the neural representations of scenes in the PPA.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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