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Nat Neurosci. 2014 Oct;17(10):1388-94. doi: 10.1038/nn.3794. Epub 2014 Aug 24.

Image familiarization sharpens response dynamics of neurons in inferotemporal cortex.

Author information

1
Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Thomas Detre Hall of the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
3
1] Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA. [2] Department of Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

Repeated viewing of an image over days and weeks induces a marked reduction in the strength with which neurons in monkey inferotemporal cortex respond to it. The processing advantage that attaches to this reduction is unknown. One possibility is that truncation of the response to a familiar image leaves neurons in a state of readiness to respond to ensuing images and thereby enhances their ability to track rapidly changing displays. We explored this possibility by assessing neuronal responses to familiar and novel images in rapid serial visual displays. Inferotemporal neurons responded more strongly to familiar than to novel images in such displays. The effect was stronger among putative inhibitory neurons than among putative excitatory neurons. A comparable effect occurred at the level of the scalp potential in humans. We conclude that long-term familiarization sharpens the response dynamics of neurons in both monkey and human extrastriate visual cortex.

PMID:
25151263
PMCID:
PMC4613775
DOI:
10.1038/nn.3794
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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