How the brain recognizes objects

When the eyes are open, visual information flows from the retina through the optic nerve and into the brain, which assembles this raw information into objects and scenes. Scientists have previously hypothesized that objects are distinguished in the inferior temporal (IT) cortex, which is near the end of this flow of information, also called the ventral stream. A new study from MIT neuroscientists offers evidence that this is indeed the case. Using data from both humans and nonhuman primates, the researchers found that neuron firing patterns in the IT cortex correlate strongly with success in object-recognition tasks. “While we knew from prior work that neuronal population activity in inferior temporal cortex was likely to underlie visual object recognition, we did not have a predictive map that could accurately link that…


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