Object Domain and Modality in the Ventral Visual Pathway

Trends Cogn Sci. 2016 Apr;20(4):282-290. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2016.02.002. Epub 2016 Mar 2.


The nature of domain-specific organization in higher-order visual cortex (ventral occipital temporal cortex, VOTC) has been investigated both in the case of visual experience deprivation and of modality of stimulation in sighted individuals. Object domain interacts in an intriguing and revelatory way with visual experience and modality of stimulation: selectivity for artifacts and scene domains is largely immune to visual deprivation and is multi-modal, whereas selectivity for animate items in lateral posterior fusiform gyrus is present only with visual stimulation. This domain-by-modality interaction is not readily accommodated by existing theories of VOTC representation. We conjecture that these effects reflect a distinction between the visual features that characterize different object domains and their interaction with different types of downstream computational systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Sensory Deprivation / physiology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*