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Objects seen as scenes: Neural circuitry for attending whole or parts.

07:00 EST 11th January 2020 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Objects seen as scenes: Neural circuitry for attending whole or parts."

Depending on our goals, we pay attention to the global shape of an object or to the local shape of its parts, since it's difficult to do both at once. This typically effortless process can be impaired in disease. However, it is not clear which cortical regions carry the information needed to constrain shape processing to a chosen global/local level. Here, novel stimuli were used to dissociate functional MRI responses to global and local shapes. This allowed identification of cortical regions containing information about level (independent from shape). Crucially, these regions overlapped part of the cortical network implicated in scene processing. As expected, shape information (independent of level) was mainly located in category-selective areas specialized for object- and face-processing. Regions with the same informational profile were strongly linked (as measured by functional connectivity), but were weak when the profiles diverged. Specifically, in the ventral-temporal-cortex (VTC) regions favoring level and shape were consistently separated by the mid-fusiform sulcus (MFS). These regions also had limited crosstalk despite their spatial proximity, thus defining two functional pathways within VTC. We hypothesize that object hierarchical level is processed by neural circuitry that also analyses spatial layout in scenes, contributing to the control of the spatial-scale used for shape recognition. Use of level information tolerant to shape changes could guide whole/part attentional selection but facilitate illusory shape/level conjunctions under impoverished vision.

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Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: NeuroImage
ISSN: 1095-9572
Pages: 116526

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