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CCN talk January 17, 2014



National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, MD

Title: Ventral stream responses during natural visual experience in the macaque

Time: 4:00 - 5:00

Place: Moore Hall, Room B3

video of Russ talk


When an individual interacts with its environment, visual events reach the brain in a manner that is both inherently dynamic and highly parallel. In the primate ventral visual cortex, experiments have revealed clustered populations of neurons that respond selectively to flashed images of faces and other object categories. Under natural conditions, does activity in such populations primarily reflect the presence of certain object categories, or is it shaped by other aspects of a scene's temporal dynamics? To investigate this issue, we measured fMRI and single unit activity in macaques as they viewed naturalistic videos depicting a variety of social and nonsocial behaviors. In comparing fMRI time courses to a family of time-varying feature models derived from the videos, we found that one feature, image motion, dominated fMRI responses throughout the ventral visual pathway. Additionally, single unit recordings from the fundus of the anterior STS revealed a diversity of responses across neurons, in which response features were not easily identifiable. This was true even within a face selective region, suggesting that the driving features of these regions may be more complex than seen under traditional experimental designs.

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