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Zvi Roth, Ehud Zohary; Learning to recognize degraded objects is associated with a greater match to the objects' template fMRI activation patterns in Lateral Occipital Cortex. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):497. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.497.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
One feature of visual processing in the ventral stream is that cortical responses gradually depart from the physical aspects of the visual stimulus and become correlated with perceptual experience. Thus, unlike early retinotopic areas, the responses in object-related lateral occipital complex (LOC) are typically immune to parameter changes (e.g. contrast, viewpoint, etc.) when these do not affect recognition. Here, we use a complementary approach to highlight changes in brain activity that result solely from a perceptual state shift. We focus on LOC and early visual cortex (EVC) and compare their fMRI responses to degraded object images, prior to, and following perceptual learning that renders initially unrecognized objects, identifiable. Using three complementary analyses, we find that in LOC, learned recognition is associated with a change in the multi-voxel response pattern to degraded object images, such that the response becomes significantly more correlated with the pattern evoked by the intact version of the same image. This provides further evidence that the coding in LOC reflects the Gestalt, perceptual level of representation of visual objects
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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