Characterizing object- and position-dependent response profiles to uni- and bilateral stimulus configurations in human higher visual cortex: a 7T fMRI study

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Abstract

Visual scenes are initially processed via segregated neural pathways dedicated to either of the two visual hemifields. Although higher-order visual areas are generally believed to utilize invariant object representations (abstracted away from features such as stimulus position), recent findings suggest they retain more spatial information than previously thought. Here, we assessed the nature of such higher-order object representations in human cortex using high-resolution fMRI at 7T, supported by corroborative 3T data. We show that multi-voxel activation patterns in both the contra- and ipsilateral hemisphere can be exploited to successfully classify the object category of unilaterally presented stimuli. Moreover, robustly identified rank order-based response profiles demonstrated a strong contralateral bias which frequently outweighed object category preferences. Finally, we contrasted different combinatorial operations to predict the responses during bilateral stimulation conditions based on responses to their constituent unilateral elements. Results favored a max operation predominantly reflecting the contralateral stimuli. The current findings extend previous work by showing that configuration-dependent modulations in higher-order visual cortex responses as observed in single unit activity have a counterpart in human neural population coding. They furthermore corroborate the emerging view that position coding is a fundamental functional characteristic of ventral visual stream processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-562
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroimage
Volume152
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

Cite this

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title = "Characterizing object- and position-dependent response profiles to uni- and bilateral stimulus configurations in human higher visual cortex: a 7T fMRI study",
abstract = "Visual scenes are initially processed via segregated neural pathways dedicated to either of the two visual hemifields. Although higher-order visual areas are generally believed to utilize invariant object representations (abstracted away from features such as stimulus position), recent findings suggest they retain more spatial information than previously thought. Here, we assessed the nature of such higher-order object representations in human cortex using high-resolution fMRI at 7T, supported by corroborative 3T data. We show that multi-voxel activation patterns in both the contra- and ipsilateral hemisphere can be exploited to successfully classify the object category of unilaterally presented stimuli. Moreover, robustly identified rank order-based response profiles demonstrated a strong contralateral bias which frequently outweighed object category preferences. Finally, we contrasted different combinatorial operations to predict the responses during bilateral stimulation conditions based on responses to their constituent unilateral elements. Results favored a max operation predominantly reflecting the contralateral stimuli. The current findings extend previous work by showing that configuration-dependent modulations in higher-order visual cortex responses as observed in single unit activity have a counterpart in human neural population coding. They furthermore corroborate the emerging view that position coding is a fundamental functional characteristic of ventral visual stream processing.",
keywords = "Journal Article",
author = "Joel Reithler and Peters, {Judith C} and Rainer Goebel",
note = "Copyright {\circledC} 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.",
year = "2017",
month = "5",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.038",
language = "English",
volume = "152",
pages = "551--562",
journal = "Neuroimage",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Characterizing object- and position-dependent response profiles to uni- and bilateral stimulus configurations in human higher visual cortex

T2 - a 7T fMRI study

AU - Reithler, Joel

AU - Peters, Judith C

AU - Goebel, Rainer

N1 - Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PY - 2017/5/15

Y1 - 2017/5/15

N2 - Visual scenes are initially processed via segregated neural pathways dedicated to either of the two visual hemifields. Although higher-order visual areas are generally believed to utilize invariant object representations (abstracted away from features such as stimulus position), recent findings suggest they retain more spatial information than previously thought. Here, we assessed the nature of such higher-order object representations in human cortex using high-resolution fMRI at 7T, supported by corroborative 3T data. We show that multi-voxel activation patterns in both the contra- and ipsilateral hemisphere can be exploited to successfully classify the object category of unilaterally presented stimuli. Moreover, robustly identified rank order-based response profiles demonstrated a strong contralateral bias which frequently outweighed object category preferences. Finally, we contrasted different combinatorial operations to predict the responses during bilateral stimulation conditions based on responses to their constituent unilateral elements. Results favored a max operation predominantly reflecting the contralateral stimuli. The current findings extend previous work by showing that configuration-dependent modulations in higher-order visual cortex responses as observed in single unit activity have a counterpart in human neural population coding. They furthermore corroborate the emerging view that position coding is a fundamental functional characteristic of ventral visual stream processing.

AB - Visual scenes are initially processed via segregated neural pathways dedicated to either of the two visual hemifields. Although higher-order visual areas are generally believed to utilize invariant object representations (abstracted away from features such as stimulus position), recent findings suggest they retain more spatial information than previously thought. Here, we assessed the nature of such higher-order object representations in human cortex using high-resolution fMRI at 7T, supported by corroborative 3T data. We show that multi-voxel activation patterns in both the contra- and ipsilateral hemisphere can be exploited to successfully classify the object category of unilaterally presented stimuli. Moreover, robustly identified rank order-based response profiles demonstrated a strong contralateral bias which frequently outweighed object category preferences. Finally, we contrasted different combinatorial operations to predict the responses during bilateral stimulation conditions based on responses to their constituent unilateral elements. Results favored a max operation predominantly reflecting the contralateral stimuli. The current findings extend previous work by showing that configuration-dependent modulations in higher-order visual cortex responses as observed in single unit activity have a counterpart in human neural population coding. They furthermore corroborate the emerging view that position coding is a fundamental functional characteristic of ventral visual stream processing.

KW - Journal Article

U2 - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.038

DO - 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.03.038

M3 - Article

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VL - 152

SP - 551

EP - 562

JO - Neuroimage

JF - Neuroimage

SN - 1053-8119

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