What is it about?

Humans can quickly and easily recognize objects by their features and shape. How does the human brain support this ability? Decades of research has shown that the ventral pathway of the visual cortex encodes information about object category, leading to the widespread belief that the ventral visual cortex explicitly represents objects. Here, we provide evidence for an alternate view: that the ventral visual cortex encodes the complex visual features that make up objects, but does not explicitly encode the configuration of features that makes an object.

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Why is it important?

Our findings argue for reconceptualizing the role of visual cortex, not as encoding objects, but as representing a basis set of complex features, useful for downstream readouts to support behavior. This has important implications for how we think about the sensory representation in the human brain and in deep neural networks, a state-of-the-art class of models of vision.

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This page is a summary of: Texture-like representation of objects in human visual cortex, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2115302119.
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