Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Representing whole objects: temporal neurons learn to play their parts

Shape-selective neurons in inferotemporal cortex could carry information about either component parts or whole objects. A new paper now reports that whole-object shape selectivity is increased for stimuli that monkeys have learned to recognize in a discrimination task.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the Baker et al. experiment10.


  1. Marr, D. & Nishihara, H.K. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 200, 269–294 (1978).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Biederman, I. Psychol. Rev. 94, 115–147 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Hoffman, D.D. & Richards, W.A. Cognition 18, 65–96 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Pasupathy, A. & Connor, C.E. J. Neurophysiol. 86, 2505–2519 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Tanaka, K., Saito, H., Fukada, Y. & Moriya, M. J. Neurophysiol. 66, 170–189 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Tsunoda, K., Yamane, Y., Nishizaki, M. & Tanifuji, M. Nat. Neurosci. 4, 832–838 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Pasupathy, A. & Connor, C.E. Nat. Neurosci. (in press).

  8. Poggio, T. & Edelman, S. Nature 343, 263–266 (1990).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Edelman, S. Representation and Recognition in Vision (MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  10. Baker, C.I., Behrmann, M. & Olson, C.R. Nat. Neurosci. 5, 1210–1216 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Miyashita, Y. Nature 335, 817–820 (1988).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Logothetis, N.K. & Pauls, J. Cereb. Cortex 5, 270–288 (1995).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Booth, M.C. & Rolls, E.T. Cereb. Cortex 8, 510–523 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Kobatake, E., Wang, G. & Tanaka, K. J. Neurophysiol. 80, 324–330 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Sigala, N. & Logothetis, N.K. Nature 415, 318–320 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Connor, C. Representing whole objects: temporal neurons learn to play their parts. Nat Neurosci 5, 1105–1106 (2002).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing