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Nature. 1995 Aug 17;376(6541):587-90.

Brain regions associated with retrieval of structurally coherent visual information.

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Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


An object's global, three-dimensional structure may be represented by a specialized brain system involving regions of inferior temporal cortex. This system's role in object representation can be understood by experiments in which people study drawings of novel objects with possible or impossible three-dimensional structures, and later make either possible/impossible object decisions or old/new recognition decisions about briefly flashed studied and non-studied objects. Although object decisions about possible objects are facilitated by prior study, there is no corresponding facilitation for impossible objects, thereby implicating a system that is specifically involved in the representation of structurally coherent visual objects. Here we show, by positron emission tomography (PET), that increases in blood flow in inferior temporal regions are associated with object decisions about possible but not impossible objects, and that there are increases in the vicinity of the hippocampal formation associated with episodic recognition of possible objects.

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