Summary Article #1: Object-related activity revealed by functional magnetic
resonance imaging in human occipital cortex
The purpose of this study was to investigate the integration stages that lead to object
recognition in the human visual cortex.
The experimenters of this study used functional recognition magnetic resonance
imaging (fMRI) to gather their data. FMRI is described as a technique used to analyse
brain activity by measuring the blood flow in the brain.
The research hypothesis of this experiment is that there is object related activation in
the human visual cortex that leads to object recognition.
The reason why the experimenters chose to investigate this topic further is due to
prior studies on monkeys.
-In the experiment with monkeys, they found that object recognition occurs in
various stages, but all centralizing from one localized area in the primary visual cortex.
-In humans, it is unclear of the exact area that directly pertains to object
recognition in the human cerebral cortex.
The study consisted of 16 normal adults, and they were given fMRI scans
Visual stimuli were projected onto a screen in front of each subject’s eyes and seen by
the subject’s through a tilted mirror
Each scanning session received by each subject consisted of 5-12 scans
Each scan consisted of 960-1020 images
To investigate the cortical areas responsible for object detection, they analyzed the
cortical activation in response to the various pictures they showed the subjects
There were two classifications of pictures they used : objects and textures
- Each class contained various items (pictures) which were used as stimuli in this
Experimenters found that activation was held at the lateral-posterior aspect of the
occipital lobe, next to a region called the lateral occipital complex (LO).
Object images produced more enhanced activation in LO than texture images
LO is found to be concerned in object detection and not recognition
LO was not found to be involved in the semantic stages of recognizing objects, these
types of stimuli ( famous faces, common objects) only activated the region slightly.
Since the present study used stimuli of complete objects, it is suggested that LO
might not only be act