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Center–periphery organization of human object areas

Nature Neuroscience volume 4, pages 533539 (2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The organizing principles that govern the layout of human object-related areas are largely unknown. Here we propose a new organizing principle in which object representations are arranged according to a central versus peripheral visual field bias. The proposal is based on the finding that building-related regions overlap periphery-biased visual field representations, whereas face-related regions are associated with center-biased representations. Furthermore, the eccentricity maps encompass essentially the entire extent of object-related occipito-temporal cortex, indicating that most object representations are organized with respect to retinal eccentricity. A control experiment ruled out the possibility that the results are due exclusively to unequal feature distribution in these images. We hypothesize that brain regions representing object categories that rely on detailed central scrutiny (such as faces) are more strongly associated with processing of central information, compared to representations of objects that may be recognized by more peripheral information (such as buildings or scenes).

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Acknowledgements

This study was funded by JSMF 99-28 CN-QUA.05 and Israel Academy 8009 grants. We thank M. Harel for help with the brain flattening, E. Okon for technical help, and V. Levi, S. Peled, D. Ben Bashat, P. Rotshtein and D. Palti for help with running the experiments.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. The Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

    • Ifat Levy
    •  & Galia Avidan
  2. Department of Neurobiology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel

    • Ifat Levy
    • , Uri Hasson
    •  & Rafael Malach
  3. Department of Neurobiology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

    • Galia Avidan
  4. Functional Brain Imaging Laboratory, Wohl Institute for Advanced Imaging, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel Aviv 64239, Israel

    • Talma Hendler
  5. Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

    • Talma Hendler

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Correspondence to Rafael Malach.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/87490

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