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PLoS One. 2016 Jun 7;11(6):e0157109. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157109. eCollection 2016.

Category-Selectivity in Human Visual Cortex Follows Cortical Topology: A Grouped icEEG Study.

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Vivian Smith Department of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Houston, TX, United States of America.
Memorial Hermann Hospital, Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX, United States of America.


Neuroimaging studies suggest that category-selective regions in higher-order visual cortex are topologically organized around specific anatomical landmarks: the mid-fusiform sulcus (MFS) in the ventral temporal cortex (VTC) and lateral occipital sulcus (LOS) in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC). To derive precise structure-function maps from direct neural signals, we collected intracranial EEG (icEEG) recordings in a large human cohort (n = 26) undergoing implantation of subdural electrodes. A surface-based approach to grouped icEEG analysis was used to overcome challenges from sparse electrode coverage within subjects and variable cortical anatomy across subjects. The topology of category-selectivity in bilateral VTC and LOC was assessed for five classes of visual stimuli-faces, animate non-face (animals/body-parts), places, tools, and words-using correlational and linear mixed effects analyses. In the LOC, selectivity for living (faces and animate non-face) and non-living (places and tools) classes was arranged in a ventral-to-dorsal axis along the LOS. In the VTC, selectivity for living and non-living stimuli was arranged in a latero-medial axis along the MFS. Written word-selectivity was reliably localized to the intersection of the left MFS and the occipito-temporal sulcus. These findings provide direct electrophysiological evidence for topological information structuring of functional representations within higher-order visual cortex.

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