Poster D99, Monday, March 27, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Lateral Occipital and Prefrontal Activation Reflect Distinct Cognitive Mechanisms Involved in Classification of Real-World Stimuli
Kyle Morgan1,2, Dagmar Zeithamova1; 1University of Oregon, 2Electrical Geodesics, Inc.
Categorization is a basic cognitive process necessary for the development of concepts. Studies utilizing novel artificial stimuli demonstrated that categorization may involve distinct cognitive and neural mechanisms depending on how categories are constructed and participants are trained. The goal of our study was to determine if such recruitment of dissociable categorization systems can also be evoked within a single task with real-world stimuli. Through corrective feedback, participants learned to categorize realistic images of football formations into three categories that were originally unknown to them. The formation categories were three of the most widely used defensive formation types in college and professional football. Formations from one category were visibly distinct and were quickly learned; the remaining two categories were highly similar and required the discovery of a rule to distinguish between them across training. Following training, participants classified the training formations and novel formations from the same categories during a functional MRI scan. Classification of formations from the visually distinct category preferentially recruited posterior visual cortex. Classification of formations that required subtle rule application recruited a network of regions across the prefrontal cortex and striatum. The results demonstrate that categorization is a complex cognitive process that relies on multiple learning and memory systems, and that these systems can be flexibly deployed on a case-by-case basis within the context of a single real-world categorization task.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Skill learning