The neural basis of visual object learning.

Laboratory of Biological Psychology, University of Leuven (K.U.Leuven), Tiensestraat 102, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. <>
Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Impact Factor: 21.15). 11/2009; 14(1):22-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.11.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Object vision in human and nonhuman primates is often cited as a primary example of adult plasticity in neural information processing. It has been hypothesized that visual experience leads to single neurons in the monkey brain with strong selectivity for complex objects, and to regions in the human brain with a preference for particular categories of highly familiar objects. This view suggests that adult visual experience causes dramatic local changes in the response properties of high-level visual cortex. Here, we review the current neurophysiological and neuroimaging evidence and find that the available data support a different conclusion: adult visual experience introduces moderate, relatively distributed effects that modulate a pre-existing, rich and flexible set of neural object representations.

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