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Author
Title Flexible visual information representation in human parietal cortex
URL
Publication Date
Date Available
Date Accessioned
Degree PhD
Discipline/Department Psychology
Degree Level doctoral
University/Publisher Harvard University
Abstract

In many everyday activities, we must visually process multiple objects embedded in complex real world scenes. Our visual system can flexibly extract behaviorally relevant visual information from such scenes, even though it has a severely limited processing capacity. This dissertation proposes that human superior intra-parietal sulcus (IPS) plays a central role in this flexible visual information processing. In Chapter 1, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with univariate analysis, I found that distractor processing in superior IPS was attenuated when target locations were known in advance. In Chapter 2, using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA), I showed that superior IPS encoded object shapes, but only when such information was required by task. In Chapter 3, I showed that, given a set of perceptually distinct, but semantically grouped visual inputs, superior IPS could represent abstract object identity. The neural similarity of identities in superior IPS significantly correlated with perceived similarity between identities, confirming the representation in this region indeed reflected identity. Taken together, these results suggest that human superior IPS encodes a wide range of visual information, from simple features to abstract identities, in a task-dependent manner, enabling flexible goal-directed visual information processing in the human brain.

Psychology

Subjects/Keywords Psychology; Cognitive psychology; Parietal cortex; Vision
Contributors Xu, Yaoda (advisor); Nakayama, Ken (committee member); Alvarez, George (committee member); Caramazza, Alfonso (committee member)
Language en
Rights open
Country of Publication us
Record ID oai:dash.harvard.edu:1/13068539
Other Identifiers Jeong, Su Keun. 2014. Flexible visual information representation in human parietal cortex. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
Repository harvard
Date Indexed 2018-02-26

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…distractors would depend on the target encoding load. 1.2.1 Methods Participants Twelve paid participants (7 females) were recruited from the Harvard University community (mean age 23.83, SD = 4.87) with informed consent, which was…

…approved by the Institutional Review Board of Harvard University. All of them were right-handed and had normal or corrected to normal visual acuity. One additional participant was tested but was excluded from further analysis due to excessive head motion…

…used a 1 sec delay period. 1.3.1 Methods Participants Nine new participants (seven females) were recruited from the Harvard University 25 community (mean age 28.33, SD = 4.52) with informed…

…consent, which was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Harvard University. All of them were right-handed and had normal or corrected to normal visual acuity. One additional participant was tested but excluded from further analyses due to…

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