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Poster E125 - Postdoctorial Fellowship Award Winner

Inverted visual coding across category-selective visual areas

Poster Session E - Monday, April 15, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Adam Steel1 (, Peter Angeli1, Edward Silson2, Caroline Robertson1; 1Dartmouth College, 2University of Edinburgh

Models of brain function propose a shift from retinotopic to amodal coding progressing from visual cortex towards memory structures. However, recently we suggested that memory-related areas implement a retinotopic code characterized by spatially-selective negative population receptive fields (-pRFs), and this code structures interactions among category-selective brain areas involved in scene perception and memory (Steel*, Silson*, 2023, Nat. Neuro.). Here, we investigated whether -pRFs are present within or anterior to other visual-category preferring areas (beyond scenes), or whether -pRFs uniquely appear in regions specialized for scene memory. We computed pRFs for subjects in the Natural Scenes Dataset (Allen, 2022) and compared -/+ pRF concentrations in regions of ventral temporal cortex that prefer scenes (anterior/posterior PPA), faces (iOG-, pFus-, mFus-faces), bodies (FBA-1 & 2), and words (OWFA, VWFA-1 & 2). For scenes, we replicated our previous observation: a higher prevalence of -pRFs in aPPA compared to pPPA and in lateral place memory area (localized using rsFC) compared to OPA (ps<0.005). In contrast, face- and body-selective areas exhibited no differences in -pRF concentration between posterior and anterior functional regions (all ps > 0.09). Interestingly, for word-selective areas, the concentration of -pRFs increased up the processing hierarchy from OWFA to VWFA-1 and 2 (ps < 0.05). Crucially, -/+ pRFs in word-preferring areas had well-matched visual field preferences, supporting the notion of functional linkage. We propose that the -pRFs associated with visual areas may serve functions that demand perceptual-mnemonic interaction across the visual field such as navigation and reading.

Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Vision


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