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PSYCH 2E03 (32)
Chapter 4

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McMaster University
Gautam Ullal

Psych 2E03: Sensory Processes Chapter 4: The Organized Brain Maps: Representing Spatial Layout - Retinotopic map: map in which each point on the LGN corresponds to a point on the retina - The map on the cortex:  Receptive fields of neurons close to each other along the electrode track had receptive fields that were close to each other or overlapping on the retina  Cortical magnification factor: apportioning the small fovea with a large area on the cortex  Extra cortical space allotted to the foveal cones is available for the extra neural processing needed to accomplish high-acuity tasks Columns: Organizing for Location, Orientation, and Ocular Dominance - The LGN “club sandwich”:  6 layers in the LGN  Ipisilateral eye: eye on the same side of the body as the LGN sends to layers 2, 3, and 5  Contralateral eye: eye on the opposite side of the LGN sends to layers 1, 4, and 6  Each eye sends half of its neurons to the LGN located in the left hemisphere and half to the right  Because electrodes encounter neurons with overlapping receptive fields, neurons all receive information from the same place on retina - Location columns in the cortex:  Neurons along a perpendicular electrode track having receptive fields either on top of each other or very close together on the retina  Location columns: perpendicular to the surface of the cortex and neurons within a location column have their receptive fields at the same location on the retina - Orientation columns in the cortex:  Each columns contains cells that respond best to a particular orientation  Adjacent columns have cells with slightly different preferred orientations - Ocular dominance columns in the cortex:  Neurons in the cortex are organized with respect to the eye to which they respond best  Ocular dominance: most neurons respond better to one eye than the other  Ocular dominance columns: neurons with the same ocular dominance are organized into the same columns in the cortex - How is an object represented in the striate cortex:  Cortical representation of a stimulus does not have to resembles the stimulus; just has to contain information that represents the stimulus Modularity: Structures for Faces, Places, and Bodies - Modularity: the idea that the structures located along the ventral and dorsal pathways are specialized to process information about specific visual qualities - Module: structure that is specialized to process information - There are face neurons in the monkey’s IT cortex:  Inferotemporal (IT) cortex: presented pictures of faces and pictures of nonface stimuli found that many neurons responded best to faces  IT cortex is a module for form perception - Damage to the temporal lobe affects a person’s ability to recognize faces:  Damage to temporal cortex causes prosopagnosia, difficulty recognizing the faces of familiar people, but can identify the person as soon as they hear them speak - There are areas for faces, places, and bodies:  Neurons within a specific area in the fusiform gyrus in the temporal lobe respond selectively to faces  FFA us activated not only by picture of faces, but by pictures in which the presence of a face is implied by the context  Parahippocampal place area is activated by pictures indicating indoor and outdoor scenes: information about spatial layout is important  Extrastriate body area: activated by pictures of bodies and arts of bodies Evolution and Plasticity: How do Neurons Become Specialized - Is neural selectivity shaped by evolution:  According to the theory of natural selection, genetically based characteristics that enhance an animal’s ability to survive, and therefore reproduce, will be passed on to future generations  It is difficult to prove whether a particular capacity is built in by evolution or if it is caused by learning - How neurons can be shaped by experience:  It is important that the visual system be able to adapt to the specific environment within which a person or animal lives  Experience-dependent plasticity: nervous syst
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