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A new no-report paradigm reveals that face cells encode both consciously perceived and suppressed stimuli

Hesse, Janis Karan and Tsao, Doris Y. (2020) A new no-report paradigm reveals that face cells encode both consciously perceived and suppressed stimuli. eLife, 9 . Art. No. e58360. ISSN 2050-084X. PMCID PMC7676863. doi:10.7554/elife.58360.

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A powerful paradigm to identify neural correlates of consciousness is binocular rivalry, wherein a constant visual stimulus evokes a varying conscious percept. It has recently been suggested that activity modulations observed during rivalry may represent the act of report rather than the conscious percept itself. Here, we performed single-unit recordings from face patches in macaque inferotemporal (IT) cortex using a no-report paradigm in which the animal’s conscious percept was inferred from eye movements. We found that large proportions of IT neurons represented the conscious percept even without active report. Furthermore, on single trials we could decode both the conscious percept and the suppressed stimulus. Together, these findings indicate that (1) IT cortex possesses a true neural correlate of consciousness and (2) this correlate consists of a population code wherein single cells multiplex representation of the conscious percept and veridical physical stimulus, rather than a subset of cells perfectly reflecting consciousness.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Hesse, Janis Karan0000-0003-0405-8632
Tsao, Doris Y.0000-0003-1083-1919
Additional Information:© 2020, Hesse and Tsao. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited. Received: 28 April 2020; Accepted: 09 November 2020; Published: 11 November 2020. This work was supported by HHMI and the Simons Foundation. We are grateful to members of the Tsao lab for feedback on the manuscript, Varun Wadia for helping us collect the human subject data, Audo Flores for animal support, Daniel Wagenaar and Eric Trautmann for technical assistance, and Barun Dutta, Tim Harris, Tirin Moore, Michael Shadlen, Krishna Shenoy, and HHMI for contributions to development of NHP Neuropixels probes. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication. Author contributions: Janis Karan Hesse, Conceptualization, Data curation, Software, Formal analysis, Validation, Investigation, Visualization, Methodology, Writing - original draft, Writing - review and editing; Doris Y Tsao, Conceptualization, Resources, Supervision, Funding acquisition, Methodology, Writing - original draft, Project administration, Writing - review and editing. Ethics. Human subjects: The behavioral experiment with human subjects for the human psychophysics experiment complied with a protocol approved by the Caltech Institutional Review Board (IRB 19-0903). Informed consent was obtained from all subjects. Animal experimentation: All animal procedures in this study complied with local and National Institute of Health guidelines including the US National Institutes of Health Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. All experiments were performed with the approval of the Caltech Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), under protocol #1574. Data availability: All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
Group:Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:consciousness; binocular rivalry; no-report paradigm; inferotemporal cortex; face perception; face patch
PubMed Central ID:PMC7676863
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201117-093113268
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Official Citation:A new no-report paradigm reveals that face cells encode both consciously perceived and suppressed stimuli. Hesse and Tsao. eLife 2020;9:e58360. DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106695
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Nov 2020 17:38
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:55

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