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Philipp Sterzer, John-Dylan Haynes, Geraint Rees; Fine-scale activity patterns in high-level visual areas encode the category of invisible objects. Journal of Vision 2008;8(15):10. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/8.15.10.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When incompatible images are presented to the two eyes, one image can dominate awareness while the other is suppressed and invisible. We used high-resolution functional neuroimaging in humans to investigate the neural representation of such suppressed stimuli. Overall responses of high-level ventral visual areas to two different types of invisible object stimuli (faces and houses) were very weak and did not differ in amplitude. Despite this, fine-grained spatial activity patterns within these areas allowed us to predict significantly better than chance whether an observer was presented with face or house stimuli not only when these stimuli were visible but also when they were suppressed and entirely invisible. These findings demonstrate the presence of category-specific information in high-level visual areas during profound interocular suppression of object stimuli that can only be retrieved when the fine-scale pattern of activity within these areas is taken into account.
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