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Published May 2, 2018 | Submitted + Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Representation of multiple objects in macaque category-selective areas


Object recognition in the natural world usually occurs in the presence of multiple surrounding objects, but responses of neurons in inferotemporal (IT) cortex, the large brain area responsible for object recognition, have mostly been studied only to isolated objects. We study rules governing responses to multiple objects by cells in two category-selective regions of macaque IT cortex, the middle lateral face patch (ML) and the middle body patch (MB). We find that responses of single ML and MB cells to pairs of objects can be explained by the widely accepted framework of normalization, with one added ingredient: homogeneous category selectivity of neighboring neurons forming the normalization pool. This rule leads to winner-take-all, contralateral-take-all, or weighted averaging behavior in single cells, depending on the category, spatial configuration, and relative contrast of the two objects. The winner-take-all behavior suggests a potential mechanism for clutter-invariant representation of face and bodies under certain conditions.

Additional Information

© 2018 the Author(s). This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received: 26 June 2017; Accepted: 05 April 2018; Published online: 02 May 2018. This work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech. We thank Nicole Schweers for technical support, and members of the Tsao lab for critical comments. Portions of the research in this paper use the FERET database of facial images collected under the FERET program, sponsored by the DOD Counterdrug Technology Development Program Office. Author Contributions: P.B. and D.Y.T. designed the experiments, interpreted the data, and wrote the paper. P.B. conducted the experiments and analyzed the data. The authors declare no competing interests. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors on request.

Attached Files

Published - s41467-018-04126-7.pdf

Submitted - 264465.full.pdf

Supplemental Material - 41467_2018_4126_MOESM1_ESM.pdf


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