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Zhengang Lu, Soojin Park; Time-resolved fMRI decoding reveals spatio-temporal characteristics of scene processing network. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):306. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.10.306.
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Current functional brain imaging studies have identified a number of areas involved in scene processing in the human brain, including the Parahippocampal Place Area (PPA), the Occipital Place Area (OPA), and the Retrosplenial Complex (RSC). This spatial loci of scene processing have to be combined with the temporal characteristics of brain activity to provide a comprehensive understanding of what and how each brain area represents scene information. Using a recently developed time-resolved repetition paradigm, we combined fMRI and multi-voxel pattern decoding method to show a spatial and temporal characterization of brain responses to scene images varied in spatial boundary (open vs. closed) and scene content (natural vs. urban). Critically, the repetition lags between the first and second scene image were manipulated in small step (33 ms) starting from 66 ms to 1033 ms to reconstruct time courses of spatial boundary and scene content representation in each functionally localized scene-related brain area. We observed that the PPA showed a similar time course of both spatial boundary and scene content information, suggesting that the temporal characteristics of the PPA might be robust to various scene properties. Interestingly, the OPA showed an opposite time course for representing spatial boundary and scene content information, suggesting that the OPA might process spatial boundary and scene content in a competing manner in time. In contrast, RSC didn't show any relation in representing spatial boundary and scene content in time. These findings suggest that different scene areas not only differ in what types of scene information it represents but also in temporal profiles of how to extract information from scenes. Our preliminary results provide a spatio-temporal-resolved fMRI approach as a tool to further understanding the neural dynamics in the scene processing network during the first second of scene perception.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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