Eccentricity bias as an organizing principle for human high-order object areas

Neuron. 2002 Apr 25;34(3):479-90. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00662-1.


We have recently proposed a center-periphery organization based on resolution needs, in which objects engaging in recognition processes requiring central-vision (e.g., face-related) are associated with center-biased representations, while objects requiring large-scale feature integration (e.g., buildings) are associated with periphery-biased representations. Here we tested this hypothesis by comparing the center-periphery organization with activations to five object categories: faces, buildings, tools, letter strings, and words. We found that faces, letter strings, and words were mapped preferentially within the center-biased representation. Faces showed a hemispheric lateralization opposite to that of letter strings and words. In contrast, buildings were mapped mainly to the periphery-biased representation, while tools activated both central and peripheral representations. The results are compatible with the notion that center-periphery organization allows the optimal allocation of cortical magnification to the specific requirements of various recognition processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*