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Andrea De Cesarei, Ilaria A. Peverato, Serena Mastria, Maurizio Codispoti; Modulation of early ERPs by accurate categorization of objects in scenes. Journal of Vision 2015;15(8):14. doi: 10.1167/15.8.14.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The categorization of objects within natural scenes is carried out in a sequence of stages, which may build on the detection of perceptual regularities in the visual appearance of objects or may represent a more semantic level of categorization. Here, we examined the neural correlates of correct categorization of objects in scenes, using natural scenes which were equalized in color and spectral amplitude, and controlled in terms of spatial coherence. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to track the early stages of visual processing. Participants viewed degraded (phase-scrambled) versions of natural scenes and then categorized them as depicting animals or people. At an intermediate scrambling level, a negative-going occipitotemporal ERP modulation by categorization accuracy was observed, beginning approximately 150 ms after stimulus onset; at more degraded levels, no ERP modulation was observed. These results suggest that this early negative-going ERP modulation reflects processing of perceptual evidence which is predictive of later correct categorization, even when low-level differences in color, spectral amplitude, and spatial coherence are balanced or controlled.
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