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Neuron. 2019 Apr 17;102(2):493-505.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

Reversible Inactivation of Different Millimeter-Scale Regions of Primate IT Results in Different Patterns of Core Object Recognition Deficits.

Author information

1
McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: rishir@mit.edu.
2
McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: dicarlo@mit.edu.

Abstract

Extensive research suggests that the inferior temporal (IT) population supports visual object recognition behavior. However, causal evidence for this hypothesis has been equivocal, particularly beyond the specific case of face-selective subregions of IT. Here, we directly tested this hypothesis by pharmacologically inactivating individual, millimeter-scale subregions of IT while monkeys performed several core object recognition subtasks, interleaved trial-by trial. First, we observed that IT inactivation resulted in reliable contralateral-biased subtask-selective behavioral deficits. Moreover, inactivating different IT subregions resulted in different patterns of subtask deficits, predicted by each subregion's neuronal object discriminability. Finally, the similarity between different inactivation effects was tightly related to the anatomical distance between corresponding inactivation sites. Taken together, these results provide direct evidence that the IT cortex causally supports general core object recognition and that the underlying IT coding dimensions are topographically organized.

KEYWORDS:

inactivation; inferior temporal cortex; neural perturbation; object recognition; primate; vision

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