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Haline Schendan, Lisa Lucia; Top-down processes modulate occipitotemporal cortex to facilitate cognitive decisions with visually impoverished objects after 200 ms: Evidence from neural repetition effects. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):990. doi: 10.1167/10.7.990.
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A series of neuroimaging and event-related potential (ERP) studies investigated the brain dynamics of the visual constancy of cognitive decisions about objects. Model verification theory proposes top-down processes of model prediction and testing in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) and ventrocaudal intraparietal sulcus (vcIPS) regions implicated in mental rotation modulate occipitotemporal cortex to enable cognitive decisions with highly impoverished objects, such as unusual views. Regarding timing, a two-state interactive account proposes that, after the initial bottom-up pass, these brain regions interact to support cognitive decisions about visual objects during a frontal N3 complex. These accounts and multiple memory systems and transfer appropriate processing theories of memory predict the largest repetition effects for same unusual views in these brain areas during the N3 complex because model verification processes are recruited during both study and memory test only in this condition. To test these ideas, repetition effects were compared to objects in unusual and canonical (best) views seen before from the same or the other view during categorization and recognition. Neuroimaging results showed that same unusual views show (a) the most suppression on both tasks in model testing regions in caudal VLPFC (BA 44/6), vcIPS, and dorsal occipitotemporal cortex, and (b) more suppression on categorization than recognition in model prediction regions of mid-VLPFC, lateral occipital, and fusiform cortex. ERP results showed that a frontopolar N350 subcomponent of the N3 complex exhibits the task-general pattern seen in model testing regions, whereas a centrofrontal N390 subcomponent exhibits the categorization-specific pattern seen in the model prediction regions. Altogether, these findings implicate top-down processes between 200 and 500 ms in the visual constancy of cognitive decisions about objects and implicit memory, and indicate that vision and memory theories combined best explain the human brain dynamics for visual object cognition.
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