Inferior temporal neurons show greater sensitivity to nonaccidental than to metric shape differences

Rufin Vogels, Irving Biederman, Moshe Bar, A. Lőrincz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has long been known that macaque inferior temporal (IT) neurons tend to fire more strongly to some shapes than to others, and that different IT neurons can show markedly different shape preferences. Beyond the discover that these preferences can be elicited by features of moderate complexity, no general principle of (nonface) object recognition had emerged by which this enormous variation in selectivity could be understood. Psychophysical, as well as computational work, suggests that one such principle is the difference between viewpoint-invariant, nonaccidental (NAP) and view-dependent, metric shape properties (MPs). We measured the responses of single IT neurons to objects differing in either a NAP (namely, a change in a geon) or an MP of a single part, shown at two orientations in depth. The cells were more sensitive to changes in NAPs than in MPs, even though the image variation (as assessed by wavelet-like measures) produced by the former were smaller than the latter. The magnitude of the response modulation from the rotation itself was, on average, similar to that produced by the NAP differences, although the image changes from the rotation were much greater than that produced by NAP differences. Multidimensional scaling of the neural responses indicated a NAP/MP dimension, independent of an orientation dimension. The present results thus demonstrate that a significant portion of the neural code of IT cells represents differences in NAPs rather than MPs. This code may enable immediate recognition of novel objects at new views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-453
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

Inferior temporal neurons show greater sensitivity to nonaccidental than to metric shape differences. / Vogels, Rufin; Biederman, Irving; Bar, Moshe; Lőrincz, A.

In: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, Vol. 13, No. 4, 2001, p. 444-453.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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