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Neuron. 2000 Aug;27(2):385-97.

Three-dimensional shape coding in inferior temporal cortex.

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Laboratorium voor Neuro-en Psychofysiologie, KU Leuven Medical School, Belgium.


Neurons in the rostral lower bank of the superior temporal sulcus (TEs), part of the inferior temporal cortex, respond selectively to three-dimensional (3D) shapes. We have investigated how these neurons represent disparity-defined 3D structure. Most neurons were selective for either first-order (disparity gradients) or second-order (disparity curvature) disparities. The latter selectivity proved remarkably vulnerable to disparity discontinuities, such as sharp edges or steps in disparity. The majority of the neurons remained selective for small disparity variations within the stimulus. 3D shape selectivity was preserved when the frontoparallel position or the stimulus size was altered. Thus, in TEs, 3D shape is coded by first- and second-order disparity-selective neurons, which are highly sensitive to spatial variations of disparity.

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