Sensitivity to Timing and Order in Human Visual Cortex.

TitleSensitivity to Timing and Order in Human Visual Cortex.
Publication TypeCBMM Memos
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSinger, J, Madsen, JR, Anderson, WS, Kreiman, G
Date Published04/2014
KeywordsCircuits for Intelligence, Pattern recognition, Visual

Visual recognition takes a small fraction of a second and relies on the cascade of signals along the ventral visual stream. Given the rapid path through multiple processing steps between photoreceptors and higher visual areas, information must progress from stage to stage very quickly. This rapid progression of information suggests that fine temporal details of the neural response may be important to the how the brain encodes visual signals. We investigated how changes in the relative timing of incoming visual stimulation affect the representation of object information by recording intracranial field potentials along the human ventral visual stream while subjects recognized objects whose parts were presented with varying asynchrony. Visual responses along the ventral stream were sensitive to timing differences between parts as small as 17 ms. In particular, there was a strong dependency on the temporal order of stimulus presentation, even at short asynchronies. This sensitivity to the order of stimulus presentation provides evidence that the brain may use differences in relative timing as a means of representing information.





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