Task- and experience-dependent cortical selectivity to features informative for categorization
SourceJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 26, 2, (2014), pp. 319-333
Article / Letter to editor
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Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
PI Group Motivational & Cognitive Control
PI Group Memory & Emotion
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Subject130 000 Cognitive Neurology & Memory
In this study, we bridge the gap between monkey electrophysiological recordings that showed selective responses to informative features and human fMRI data that demonstrated increased and selective responses to trained objects. Human participants trained with computer-generated fish stimuli. For each participant, two features of the fish were informative for category membership and two features were uninformative. After training, participants showed higher perceptual sensitivity to the informative dimensions. An fMRI adaptation paradigm revealed that during categorization the right inferior frontal gyrus and occipitotemporal cortex were selectively responsive to the informative features. These selective cortical responses were experience dependent; they were not present for the entire trained object, but specific for those features that were informative for categorization. Responses in the inferior frontal gyrus showed category selectivity. Moreover, selectivity to the informative features correlated with performance on the categorization task during scanning. This all suggests that the frontal cortex is involved in actively categorizing objects and that it uses informative features to do so while ignoring those features that do not contribute category information. Occipitotemporal cortex also showed selectivity to the informative features during the categorization task. Interestingly, this area showed a positive correlation of performance during training and selectivity to the informative features and a negative correlation with selectivity to the uninformative features. This indicates that training enhanced sensitivity to trained items and decreased sensitivity to uninformative features. The absence of sensitivity for informative features during a color change detection task indicates that there is a strong component of task-related processing of these features.
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