Regions selective for faces, places, and bodies feature prominently in the literature on the human ventral visual pathway. Are selectivities for these categories in fact the most robust response profiles in this pathway, or is their prominence an artifact of biased sampling of the hypothesis space in prior work? Here we use a data-driven structure discovery method that avoids the assumptions built into most prior work by i) giving equal consideration to all possible response profiles over the conditions tested, ii) relaxing implicit anatomical constraints (that important functional profiles should manifest themselves in spatially contiguous voxels arising in similar locations across subjects), and iii) testing for dominant response profiles over images, rather than categories, thus enabling us to discover, rather than presume, the categories respected by the brain. Even with these assumptions relaxed, face, place, and body selectivity emerge as dominant in the ventral stream.
- object recognition
- Copyright © 2011, Journal of Neurophysiology