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17. Psychophysical and Neural Correlates of the Phenomenology of Shape

Irving Biederman

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781119954682.2013.00020.x


Shape is the major route by which we gain knowledge about our visual world. All contemporary theories of shape-based object representation (e.g., Hummel & Biederman, 1992 ; Kobatake & Tanaka, 1994 ; Serre, Wolf, & Poggio, 2005 ) assume a hierarchy of features by which the initial Gabor-like filtering that is characteristic of V1 (the first cortical visual stage) cell-tuning is ultimately transformed through a series of stages to a point where cell-tuning is better described by “moderately complex” features with receptive fields (r.f.s) that often cannot be analyzed into their linear components ( Kobatake & Tanaka, 1994 ; Tanaka, 1993 ). These later stages are the inferior temporal cortex in macaque (IT) and, in humans as determined by fMRI and lesions, likely the lateral occipital complex (LOC). Along with the increase in r.f. nonlinearity in IT and LOC, the cells exhibit a high degree of invariance so the response is only moderately changed to variations in viewing conditions. In this chapter we will review recent evidence, both behavioral and neural, that sheds light on the nature of the object representation that results in a view-invariant representation and leads to its unique phenomenology and psychophysics. In addition to invariance, a striking aspect of the representation of shape is that, subjectively, at least, it appears to be structured. But a major ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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