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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22;106(38):16457-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904186106. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Analogous intermediate shape coding in vision and touch.

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  • 1Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute and Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


We recognize, understand, and interact with objects through both vision and touch. Conceivably, these two sensory systems encode object shape in similar ways, which could facilitate cross-modal communication. To test this idea, we studied single neurons in macaque monkey intermediate visual (area V4) and somatosensory (area SII) cortex, using matched shape stimuli. We found similar patterns of shape sensitivity characterized by tuning for curvature direction. These parallel tuning patterns imply analogous shape coding mechanisms in intermediate visual and somatosensory cortex.

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