August 2014
Volume 14, Issue 10
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2014
Novel module formation reveals underlying shape bias in primate infero-temporal cortex
Author Affiliations
  • Krishna Srihasam
    Department of Neurobiology Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Margaret Livingstone
    Department of Neurobiology Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Journal of Vision August 2014, Vol.14, 713. doi:
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      Krishna Srihasam, Margaret Livingstone; Novel module formation reveals underlying shape bias in primate infero-temporal cortex. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):713.

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

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Six juvenile monkeys were trained intensively to choose between pairs of symbols using in-cage touch-screens. We trained the monkeys on three separate symbol sets: alphanumeric symbols, tetris shapes and cartoon faces; training for each set took about 8 months. Within a set each symbol represented a unique reward amount from 0 to 25 drops. Groups of monkeys learned the 3 sets in different order. Before and after learning each set, the monkeys were scanned while they viewed blocks of the trained symbol set, control shapes, and monkey faces. After training on each symbol set, we found areas in inferior temporal cortex that were selectively more active for the trained shapes than for controls of the trained set. The locations of these newly specialized domains were consistent across monkeys and did not depend on the order the symbol sets were learned. Within each monkey, the patch of cortex that was selectively more active to trained cartoon faces was just ventral to the middle face patch; the selectivity to tetris symbols was just ventral to that, and the patch selective to alphanumeric symbols was the most ventral of the 3, and was located in the same place as previously reported scene-selectivity1. The fact that these domains consistently map to characteristic locations suggest that whatever region will become specialized in response to intensive experience of some particular set of shapes depends on the shape and indicates a pre-existing shape organization. Tootell and colleagues2 have suggested that this organization is based on curvature; such an organization is consistent with what we find. (1) Kornblith, S., Cheng, X., Ohayon, S. & Tsao, D.Y. Neuron 79, 766-781 (2013) (2) Tootell, R.B.H., Nasr, S. & Yue, X. Soc. Neurosci. Abstr., 624.604 (2012)

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014


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