Hierarchical processing of face viewpoint in human visual cortex

Vadim Axelrod, Galit Yovel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ability to recognize objects across different viewpoints (view invariance) is a remarkable property of the primate visual system. According to a prominent theory, view information is represented by view-selective mechanisms at early stages of visual processing and gradually becomes view invariant in high-level visual areas. Single-cell recording studies have also reported an intermediate step of partial view invariance for mirror-symmetric face views. Nevertheless, similar evidence for this type of hierarchical processing for face view has not been reported yet in thehumanvisual cortex. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study used state-of-the-art multivariate pattern analysis to explore face-view tuning in the human visual cortex. Our results revealed that consistent with a viewselective representation, face view can be successfully decoded in face and object-selective regions as well as in early visual cortex. Critically, similar neural representations for mirror-symmetric views were found in high-level but not in low-level visual areas. Our results support the notion of gradual emergence of view-invariant representation with invariance for mirror-symmetric images as an intermediate step and propose putative neural correlates of mirror-image confusion in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2442-2452
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

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