Cue-invariant activation in object-related areas of the human occipital lobe

Neuron. 1998 Jul;21(1):191-202. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80526-7.


The extent to which primary visual cues such as motion or luminance are segregated in different cortical areas is a subject of controversy. To address this issue, we examined cortical activation in the human occipital lobe using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while subjects performed a fixed visual task, object recognition, using three different primary visual cues: motion, texture, or luminance contrast. In the first experiment, a region located on the lateral aspect of the occipital lobe (LO complex) was preferentially activated in all 11 subjects both by luminance and motion-defined object silhouettes compared to full-field moving and stationary noise (ratios, 2.00+/-0.19 and 1.86+/-0.65, respectively). In the second experiment, all subjects showed enhanced activation in the LO complex to objects defined both by luminance and texture contrast compared to full-field texture patterns (ratios, 1.43+/-0.08 and 1.32+/-0.08, respectively). An additional smaller dorsal focus that exhibited convergence of object-related cues appeared to correspond to area V3a or a region slightly anterior to it. These results show convergence of visual cues in LO and provide strong evidence for its role in object processing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Cues*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Occipital Lobe / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation / methods
  • Visual Perception / physiology*