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Letters to Nature
Nature 360, 343 - 346 (26 November 1992); doi:10.1038/360343a0

Columns for visual features of objects in monkey inferotemporal cortex

Ichiro Fujita*, Keiji Tanaka*, Minami Ito* & Kang Cheng*

*Laboratory for Neural Information Processing, Frontier Research Program, RIKEN Institute, Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (PRESTO), Research Development Corporation of Japan, and Information Science Laboratory, RIKEN Institute, Wako, Saitama 351-01, Japan

AT early stages of the mammalian visual cortex, neurons with similar stimulus selectivities are vertically arrayed through the thickness of the cortical sheet and clustered in patches or bands across the surface. This organization, referred to as a 'column', has been found with respect to one-dimensional stimulus parameters such as orientation of stimulus contours1, eye dominance of visual inputs1, and direction of stimulus motion2. It is unclear, however, whether information with extremely high dimensions, such as visual shape, is organized in a similar columnar fashion or in a different manner in the brain. Here we report that the anterior inferotemporal area of the monkey cortex, the final station of the visual cortical stream crucial for object recognition3–8, consists of columns, each containing cells responsive to similar visual features of objects.

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