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Neuron. 1999 Sep;24(1):187-203.

Differential processing of objects under various viewing conditions in the human lateral occipital complex.

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Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The invariant properties of human cortical neurons cannot be studied directly by fMRI due to its limited spatial resolution. Here, we circumvented this limitation by using fMR adaptation, namely, reduction of the fMR signal due to repeated presentation of identical images. Object-selective regions (lateral occipital complex [LOC]) showed a monotonic signal decrease as repetition frequency increased. The invariant properties of fMR adaptation were studied by presenting the same object in different viewing conditions. LOC exhibited stronger fMR adaptation to changes in size and position (more invariance) compared to illumination and viewpoint. The effect revealed two putative subdivisions within LOC: caudal-dorsal (LO), which exhibited substantial recovery from adaptation under all transformations, and posterior fusiform (PF/LOa), which displayed stronger adaptation. This study demonstrates the utility of fMR adaptation for revealing functional characteristics of neurons in fMRI studies.

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