Partially distributed representations of objects and faces in ventral temporal cortex

Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Alice J O'TooleJ V Haxby


Object and face representations in ventral temporal (VT) cortex were investigated by combining object confusability data from a computational model of object classification with neural response confusability data from a functional neuroimaging experiment. A pattern-based classification algorithm learned to categorize individual brain maps according to the object category being viewed by the subject. An identical algorithm learned to classify an image-based, view-dependent representation of the stimuli. High correlations were found between the confusability of object categories and the confusability of brain activity maps. This occurred even with the inclusion of multiple views of objects, and when the object classification model was tested with high spatial frequency "line drawings" of the stimuli. Consistent with a distributed representation of objects in VT cortex, the data indicate that object categories with shared image-based attributes have shared neural structure.


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