Deep Residual Network Predicts Cortical Representation and Organization of Visual Features for Rapid Categorization

Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 28;8(1):3752. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-22160-9.


The brain represents visual objects with topographic cortical patterns. To address how distributed visual representations enable object categorization, we established predictive encoding models based on a deep residual network, and trained them to predict cortical responses to natural movies. Using this predictive model, we mapped human cortical representations to 64,000 visual objects from 80 categories with high throughput and accuracy. Such representations covered both the ventral and dorsal pathways, reflected multiple levels of object features, and preserved semantic relationships between categories. In the entire visual cortex, object representations were organized into three clusters of categories: biological objects, non-biological objects, and background scenes. In a finer scale specific to each cluster, object representations revealed sub-clusters for further categorization. Such hierarchical clustering of category representations was mostly contributed by cortical representations of object features from middle to high levels. In summary, this study demonstrates a useful computational strategy to characterize the cortical organization and representations of visual features for rapid categorization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Networks, Computer*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*