Fusiform activation to animals is driven by the process, not the stimulus

Rogers, Timothy T., Hocking, Julia, Mechelli, Andrea, Patterson, Karalyn, & Price, Cathy J. (2005) Fusiform activation to animals is driven by the process, not the stimulus. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17(3), pp. 434-445.

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Abstract

Previous studies have found that the lateral posterior fusiform gyri respond more robustly to pictures of animals than pictures of manmade objects and suggested that these regions encode the visual properties characteristic of animals. We suggest that such effects actually reflect processing demands arising when items with similar representations must be finely discriminated. In a positron emission tomography (PET) study of category verification with colored photographs of animals and vehicles, there was robust animal-specific activation in the lateral posterior fusiform gyri when stimuli were categorized at an intermediate level of specificity (e.g., dog or car). However, when the same photographs were categorized at a more specific level (e.g., Labrador or BMW), these regions responded equally strongly to animals and vehicles. We conclude that the lateral posterior fusiform does not encode domain-specific representations of animals or visual properties characteristic of animals. Instead, these regions are strongly activated whenever an item must be discriminated from many close visual or semantic competitors. Apparent category effects arise because, at an intermediate level of specificity, animals have more visual and semantic competitors than do artifacts.

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ID Code: 74097
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Rogers, Timothy T
Hocking, Julia
Mechelli, Andrea
Patterson, Karalyn
Price, Cathy
eng
051067/Wellcome Trust/United Kingdom
MH6445/MH/NIMH NIH HHS/
Comparative Study
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
2005/04/09 09:00
J Cogn Neurosci. 2005 Mar;17(3):434-45.
Keywords: Brain Mapping, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted/methods, Visual/*physiology, Positron-Emission Tomography/methods, Reaction Time/physiology
DOI: 10.1162/0898929053279531
ISSN: 0898-929X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900) > Central Nervous System (110903)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200) > Linguistic Processes (incl. Speech Production and Comprehension) (170204)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Deposited On: 17 Jul 2014 23:46
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2014 00:24

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