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Vision Res. 2009 Sep;49(18):2297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.06.020. Epub 2009 Jul 3.

Adaptation to objects in the lateral occipital complex (LOC): shape or semantics?

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University of Southern California, Department of Psychology, 3641 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


A change in the basic-level class when viewing a sequence of two objects produces a large release from adaptation in LOC compared to when the images are identical. Is this due to a change in semantics or shape? In an fMRI-adaptation experiment, subjects viewed a sequence of two objects and judged whether the stimuli were identical in shape. Different-shaped stimuli could be from the same or different basic-level classes, where the physical similarities of the pairs in the two conditions were equated by a model of simple cell similarity. BOLD responses in LOC for the two conditions were equivalent, and higher than that of the identical condition, indicating that LOC is sensitive to shape rather than to basic-level semantics.

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