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Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human brain

Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo and Reddy, Leila and Kreiman, Gabriel and Koch, Christof and Fried, Itzhak (2005) Invariant visual representation by single neurons in the human brain. Nature, 435 (7045). pp. 1102-1107. ISSN 0028-0836.

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It takes a fraction of a second to recognize a person or an object even when seen under strikingly different conditions. How such a robust, high-level representation is achieved by neurons in the human brain is still unclear. In monkeys, neurons in the upper stages of the ventral visual pathway respond to complex images such as faces and objects and show some degree of invariance to metric properties such as the stimulus size, position and viewing angle. We have previously shown that neurons in the human medial temporal lobe (MTL) fire selectively to images of faces, animals, objects or scenes. Here we report on a remarkable subset of MTL neurons that are selectively activated by strikingly different pictures of given individuals, landmarks or objects and in some cases even by letter strings with their names. These results suggest an invariant, sparse and explicit code, which might be important in the transformation of complex visual percepts into long-term and more abstract memories.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription material ReadCube access
Koch, Christof0000-0001-6482-8067
Fried, Itzhak0000-0002-5962-2678
Additional Information:Received 1 December 2004; Accepted 3 February 2005. We thank all patients for their participation; P. Sinha for drawing some faces; colleagues for providing pictures; I. Wainwright for administrative assistance; and E. Behnke, T. Fields, E. Ho, E. Isham, A. Kraskov, P. Steinmetz, I. Viskontas and C. Wilson for technical assistance. This work was supported by grants from the NINDS, NIMH, NSF, DARPA, the Office of Naval Research, the W.M. Keck Foundation Fund for Discovery in Basic Medical Research, a Whiteman fellowship (to G.K.), the Gordon Moore Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the Swartz Foundation for Computational Neuroscience.
Group:Koch Laboratory (KLAB)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)UNSPECIFIED
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)UNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)UNSPECIFIED
Office of Naval Research (ONR)UNSPECIFIED
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Whiteman fellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Swartz Foundation for Computational NeuroscienceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7045
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103222719
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40498
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:12 Jan 2008 00:58
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 05:13

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