To investigate the relationship between perceptual awareness and brain activity, we measured both recognition performance and fMRI signal from object-related areas in human cortex while images were presented briefly using a masking protocol. Our results suggest that recognition performance is correlated with selective activation in object areas. Selective activation was correlated to object naming when exposure duration was varied from 20 to 500 milliseconds. Subjects' recognition during identical visual stimulation could be enhanced by training, which also increased the fMRI signal. Overall, the correlation between recognition performance and fMRI signal was highest in occipitotemporal object areas (the lateral occipital complex).