Hierarchical Processing of Face Viewpoint in Human Visual Cortex
Journal of Neuroscience
The ability to recognize objects across different viewpoints (view invariance) is a remarkable property of the primate visual system. According to a prominent theory, view information is represented by view-selective mechanisms at early stages of visual processing and gradually becomes view invariant in high-level visual areas. Single-cell recording studies have also reported an intermediate step of partial view invariance for mirror-symmetric face views. Nevertheless, similar evidence for this
... r evidence for this type of hierarchical processing for face view has not been reported yet in the human visual cortex. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study used state-of-the-art multivariate pattern analysis to explore face-view tuning in the human visual cortex. Our results revealed that consistent with a viewselective representation, face view can be successfully decoded in face and object-selective regions as well as in early visual cortex. Critically, similar neural representations for mirror-symmetric views were found in high-level but not in low-level visual areas. Our results support the notion of gradual emergence of view-invariant representation with invariance for mirror-symmetric images as an intermediate step and propose putative neural correlates of mirror-image confusion in the human brain.