Macro-organization of object responses in occipito-temporal cortex

Konkle & Caramazza

What are the dimensions that organize object representation? A common assumption is that the mosaic of category-selective areas are the only large-scale clusters, while the remaining object responses have more heterogenous response profiles with structure primarily at a finer spatial scale. In contrast, I will present results showing a large-scale of object responses spanning the entire ventral and lateral occipito-temporal cortex, based on the dimensions of animacy and size. Zones with systematic animacy-size preferences are arranged in a spoked organization emanating from the occipital pole along a single ventral-medial-to-lateral-to-dorsal-medial axis, bearing marked similarity to the organization of early visual areas. Regions selective for faces, bodies, and scenes fit within these zones, demonstrating consistent meso-scale structure. These results suggest that object cortex, just like early visual cortex, has structure that can be explained at multiple spatial scales. I will argue that understanding this multi-scale representation is valuable for inferring the nature of the underlying cognitive architecture.

Konkle, T., & Caramazza, A. (2013). Macro-organization of object responses in occipito-temporal cortex. Symposium presentation at the annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, May 12-15, Naples, FL.