The representation of colored objects in macaque color patches

Nat Commun. 2017 Dec 12;8(1):2064. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01912-7.


An important question about color vision is how does the brain represent the color of an object? The recent discovery of "color patches" in macaque inferotemporal (IT) cortex, the part of the brain responsible for object recognition, makes this problem experimentally tractable. Here we recorded neurons in three color patches, middle color patch CLC (central lateral color patch), and two anterior color patches ALC (anterior lateral color patch) and AMC (anterior medial color patch), while presenting images of objects systematically varied in hue. We found that all three patches contain high concentrations of hue-selective cells, and that the three patches use distinct computational strategies to represent colored objects: while all three patches multiplex hue and shape information, shape-invariant hue information is much stronger in anterior color patches ALC/AMC than CLC. Furthermore, hue and object shape specifically for primate faces/bodies are over-represented in AMC, but not in the other two patches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Color
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Facial Recognition / physiology*
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*