August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Beyond perceptual expertise: Revisiting the neural substrates of expert object recognition
Author Affiliations
  • Assaf Harel
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health
  • Dwight Kravitz
    Department of Psychology, George Washington University
  • Chris Baker
    Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 820. doi:10.1167/14.10.820
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      Assaf Harel, Dwight Kravitz, Chris Baker; Beyond perceptual expertise: Revisiting the neural substrates of expert object recognition. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):820. doi: 10.1167/14.10.820.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Real-world visual expertise provides a valuable opportunity to understand how experience shapes human vision and neural function. In object recognition, expertise is commonly viewed as modifying stimulus-driven perceptual processing in visual cortex. One prominent version of this perceptual perspective has focused almost exclusively on the relation of expertise to face processing. In terms of the neural substrates, this perceptual view has centered on face-selective cortical regions, particularly the Fusiform Face Area (FFA). In contrast to this view, we report recent behavioral and neuroimaging (both structural and functional) evidence, which highlights the critical role that high-level factors, such as attention and conceptual knowledge play in object expertise. Together, these studies demonstrate that expert related activity is i) found throughout visual cortex, not just FFA, with a strong relationship between neural response and behavioral expertise even in the earliest stages of visual processing, ii) found outside visual cortex in areas such as parietal and prefrontal cortices, and iii) modulated by the attentional engagement of the observer suggesting that it is neither automatic nor driven solely by stimulus properties. Based on these diverse lines of evidence, we propose a novel view of object expertise, the interactive account, suggesting that object expertise emerges from extensive interactions within and between the visual system and other cognitive systems, resulting in widespread, distributed patterns of expertise-related activity across the entire cortex.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014

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