Analogous intermediate shape coding in vision and touch

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 22;106(38):16457-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0904186106. Epub 2009 Sep 4.


We recognize, understand, and interact with objects through both vision and touch. Conceivably, these two sensory systems encode object shape in similar ways, which could facilitate cross-modal communication. To test this idea, we studied single neurons in macaque monkey intermediate visual (area V4) and somatosensory (area SII) cortex, using matched shape stimuli. We found similar patterns of shape sensitivity characterized by tuning for curvature direction. These parallel tuning patterns imply analogous shape coding mechanisms in intermediate visual and somatosensory cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Form Perception / physiology
  • Macaca mulatta / physiology*
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Pattern Recognition, Physiological / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Somatosensory Cortex / cytology
  • Somatosensory Cortex / physiology
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology
  • Visual Perception / physiology