Daniel Kaiser

Daniel Kaiser
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen | JLU · Mathematical Institute

Dipl.-Psych., PhD

About

68
Publications
11,609
Reads
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1,127
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2021 - present
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Position
  • Professor
October 2019 - September 2021
The University of York
Position
  • Lecturer
February 2017 - September 2019
Freie Universität Berlin
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
November 2012 - November 2015
Università degli Studi di Trento
Field of study
  • Cognitive and Brain Sciences
October 2007 - September 2012
Universität Regensburg
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (68)
Article
In virtually every real-life situation humans are confronted with complex and cluttered visual environments that contain a multitude of objects. Because of the limited capacity of the visual system, objects compete for neural representation and cognitive processing resources. Previous work has shown that such attentional competition is partly objec...
Article
Neuroimaging research has identified category-specific neural response patterns to a limited set of object categories. For example, faces, bodies, and scenes evoke activity patterns in visual cortex that are uniquely traceable in space and time. It is currently debated whether these apparently categorical responses truly reflect selectivity for cat...
Article
Full-text available
Significance statement: Efficient attentional selection is crucial in many everyday situations. For example, when driving a car, we need to quickly detect obstacles, such as pedestrians crossing the street, while ignoring irrelevant objects. How can humans efficiently perform such tasks, given the multitude of objects contained in real-world scene...
Article
To optimize processing, the human visual system utilizes regularities present in naturalistic visual input. One of these regularities is the relative position of objects in a scene (e.g., a sofa in front of a television), with behavioral research showing that regularly positioned objects are easier to perceive and to remember. Here we use fMRI to t...
Article
Full-text available
With every glimpse of our eyes, we sample only a small and incomplete fragment of the visual world, which needs to be contextualized and integrated into a coherent scene representation. Here we show that the visual system achieves this contextualization by exploiting spatial schemata, that is our knowledge about the composition of natural scenes. W...
Article
Humans can effortlessly categorize objects, both when they are conveyed through visual images and spoken words. To resolve the neural correlates of object categorization, studies have so far primarily focused on the visual modality. It is therefore still unclear how the brain extracts categorical information from auditory signals. In the current st...
Preprint
Full-text available
Aesthetic experiences during natural vision are varied: they can arise from viewing scenic landscapes, interesting architecture, or attractive people. Recent research in the field of neuroaesthetics has taught us a lot about where in the brain such aesthetic experiences are represented. Much less is known about when such experiences arise during th...
Article
Full-text available
conceptual representations are critical for human cognition. Despite their importance, key properties of these representations remain poorly understood. Here, we used computational models of distributional semantics to predict multivariate fMRI activity patterns during the activation and contextualization of abstract concepts. We devised a task in...
Article
During natural vision, objects rarely appear in isolation, but often within a semantically related scene context. Previous studies reported that semantic consistency between objects and scenes facilitates object perception and that scene-object consistency is reflected in changes in the N300 and N400 components in EEG recordings. Here, we investiga...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent advances in high-field fMRI have allowed differentiating feedforward and feedback information in the grey matter of the human brain. For continued progress in this endeavor, it is critical to understand how MRI data acquisition parameters impact the read-out of information from laminar response profiles. Here, we benchmarked three different...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humans can effortlessly categorize objects, both when they are conveyed through visual images and spoken words. To resolve the neural correlates of object categorization, studies have so far primarily focused on the visual modality. It is therefore still unclear how the brain extracts categorical information from auditory signals. In the current st...
Article
Full-text available
During natural vision, our brains are constantly exposed to complex, but regularly structured environments. Real-world scenes are defined by typical part–whole relationships, where the meaning of the whole scene emerges from configurations of localized information present in individual parts of the scene. Such typical part–whole relationships sugge...
Preprint
Full-text available
During natural vision, our brains are constantly exposed to complex, but regularly structured environments. Real-world scenes are defined by typical part-whole relationships, where the meaning of the whole scene emerges from configurations of localized information present in individual parts of the scene. Such typical part-whole relationships sugge...
Article
Full-text available
Primary visual cortex (V1) in humans is known to represent both veridically perceived external input and internally-generated contents underlying imagery and mental rotation. However, it is unknown how the brain keeps these contents separate thus avoiding a mixture of the perceived and the imagined which could lead to potentially detrimental conseq...
Preprint
Full-text available
During natural vision, objects rarely appear in isolation, but often within a semantically related scene context. Previous studies reported that semantic consistency between objects and scenes facilitates object perception, and that scene-object consistency is reflected in changes in the N300 and N400 components in EEG recordings. Here, we investig...
Article
Full-text available
Looking for objects within complex natural environments is a task everybody performs multiple times each day. In this study, we explore how the brain uses the typical composition of real-world environments to efficiently solve this task. We recorded fMRI activity while participants performed two different categorization tasks on natural scenes. In...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract conceptual representations are critical for human cognition. Despite their importance, key properties of these representations remain poorly understood. Here, we used computational models of distributional semantics to predict multivariate fMRI activity patterns during the activation and contextualization of abstract concepts. We devised a...
Article
The successful recognition of familiar persons is critical for social interactions. Despite extensive research on the neural representations of familiar faces, we know little about how such representations unfold as someone becomes familiar. In three EEG experiments on human participants of both sexes, we elucidated how representations of face fami...
Article
Full-text available
The study of unconscious processing requires a measure of conscious awareness. Awareness measures can be either subjective (based on participant’s report) or objective (based on perceptual performance). The preferred awareness measure depends on the theoretical position about consciousness and may influence conclusions about the extent of unconscio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Primary visual cortex (V1) in humans is known to represent both veridically perceived external input and internally-generated contents underlying imagery and mental rotation. However, it is unknown how the brain keeps these contents separate thus avoiding a mixture of the perceived and the imagined which could lead to potentially detrimental conseq...
Preprint
Full-text available
Looking for objects within complex natural environments is a task everybody performs multiple times each day. In this study, we explore how the brain uses the typical composition of real-world environments to efficiently solve this task. We recorded fMRI activity while participants performed two different categorization tasks on natural scenes. In...
Preprint
Full-text available
The study of unconscious processing requires a measure of conscious awareness. Awareness measures can be either subjective (based on participant's report) or objective (based on perceptual performance). The preferred awareness measure depends on the theoretical position about consciousness, and may influence conclusions about the extent of unconsci...
Article
Full-text available
When we see a face, we rapidly form an impression of its attractiveness. Here, we investigated how rapidly representations of facial attractiveness emerge in the human brain. In an EEG experiment, participants viewed 100 face photographs and rated them for their attractiveness. Using time-resolved representational similarity analysis on the EEG dat...
Article
Full-text available
To behave adaptively with sufficient flexibility, biological organisms must cognize beyond immediate reaction to a physically present stimulus. For this, humans use visual mental imagery, the ability to conjure up a vivid internal experience from memory that stands in for the percept of the stimulus. Visually imagined contents subjectively mimic pe...
Article
In everyday life, our visual surroundings are not arranged randomly, but structured in predictable ways. Although previous studies have shown that the visual system is sensitive to such structural regularities, it remains unclear whether the presence of an intact structure in a scene also facilitates the cortical analysis of the scene's categorical...
Article
Full-text available
Real-world environments are extremely rich in visual information. At any given moment in time, only a fraction of this information is available to the eyes and the brain, rendering naturalistic vision a collection of incomplete snapshots. Previous research suggests that in order to successfully contextualize this fragmented information, the visual...
Preprint
Full-text available
When we see a face, we rapidly form an impression of its attractiveness. Here, we investigated how rapidly representations of facial attractiveness emerge in the human brain. In an EEG experiment, participants viewed 100 face photographs and rated them for their attractiveness. Using time-resolved representational similarity analysis on the EEG dat...
Preprint
Full-text available
In everyday life, our visual surroundings are not arranged randomly, but structured in predictable ways. Although previous studies have shown that the visual system is sensitive to such structural regularities, it remains unclear whether the presence of an intact structure in a scene also facilitates the cortical analysis of the scene's categorical...
Preprint
Full-text available
Real-world environments are extremely rich in visual information. At any given moment in time, only a fraction of this information is available to the eyes and the brain, rendering naturalistic vision a collection of incomplete snapshots. Previous research suggests that in order to successfully contextualize this fragmented information, the visual...
Article
Full-text available
Natural scenes are inherently structured, with meaningful objects appearing in predictable locations. Human vision is tuned to this structure: When scene structure is purposefully jumbled, perception is strongly impaired. Here, we tested how such perceptual effects are reflected in neural sensitivity to scene structure. During separate fMRI and EEG...
Article
Full-text available
In natural vision, objects appear at typical locations, both with respect to visual space (e.g., an airplane in the upper part of a scene) and other objects (e.g., a lamp above a table). Recent studies have shown that object vision is strongly adapted to such positional regularities. In this review we synthesize these developments, highlighting tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Natural scenes are inherently structured, with meaningful objects appearing in predictable locations. Human vision is tuned to this structure: When scene structure is purposefully disrupted (e.g., by jumbling scene images), perception is strongly impaired. Here, we tested how such perceptual effects are reflected in neural sensitivity to natural sc...
Article
Full-text available
Human high-level visual cortex shows a distinction between animate and inanimate objects, as revealed by fMRI. Recent studies have shown that object animacy can similarly be decoded from MEG sensor patterns. Which object properties drive this decoding? Here, we disentangled the influence of perceptual and categorical object properties by presenting...
Article
Artificial deep neural networks (DNNs) initially inspired by the brain enable computers to solve cognitive tasks at which humans excel. In the absence of explanations for such cognitive phenomena, in turn cognitive scientists have started using DNNs as models to investigate biological cognition and its neural basis, creating heated debate. Here, we...
Article
In real-life situations, the appearance of a person's face can vary substantially across different encounters, making face recognition a challenging task for the visual system. Recent fMRI decoding studies have suggested that face recognition is supported by identity representations located in regions of the occipitotemporal cortex. Here, we used E...
Article
In daily life, attention is often directed to high-level object attributes, such as when we look out for cars before crossing a road. Previous work used MEG decoding to investigate the influence of such category-based attention on the time course of object category representations. Attended object categories were more strongly represented than unat...
Preprint
Full-text available
In real-life situations, the appearance of a person’s face can vary substantially across different encounters, making face recognition a challenging task for the visual system. Recent fMRI decoding studies have suggested that face recognition is supported by identity representations located in regions of the occipito-temporal cortex. Here, we used...
Preprint
Full-text available
In daily life, attention is often directed to high-level object attributes, such as when we look out for cars before crossing a road. Previous work used MEG decoding to investigate the influence of such category-based attention on the time course of object category representations. Attended object categories were more strongly represented than unat...
Article
Natural environments consist of multiple objects, many of which repeatedly occupy similar locations within a scene. For example, hats are seen on people’s heads, while shoes are most often seen close to the ground. Such positional regularities bias the distribution of objects across the visual field: hats are more often encountered in the upper vis...
Article
In everyday visual environments, objects are non-uniformly distributed across visual space. Many objects preferentially occupy particular retinotopic locations: for example, lamps more often fall into the upper visual field, whereas carpets more often fall into the lower visual field. The long-term experience with natural environments prompts the h...
Preprint
Full-text available
In real-world vision, humans are constantly confronted with complex environments that contain a multitude of objects. These environments are spatially structured, so that objects have different likelihoods of appearing in specific parts of the visual space. Our massive experience with such positional regularities prompts the hypothesis that the pro...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human high-level visual cortex shows a distinction between animate and inanimate objects, as revealed by fMRI. Recent studies have shown that object animacy can similarly be decoded from MEG sensor patterns. Which object properties drive this decoding? Here, we disentangled the influence of perceptual and categorical object properties by presenting...
Preprint
Full-text available
Everyday visual environments are spatially structured in that objects often appear at typical locations in space: for example, lamps hang from the ceiling, whereas carpets lie on the floor. As a consequence, objects repeatedly occupy similar visual field locations. The long-term experience with these spatial regularities prompts the hypothesis that...
Preprint
Full-text available
The human visual system has adapted to process cluttered scenes containing dozens of regularly arranged objects. The regularity among objects critically contributes to the efficiency of naturalistic vision. Recent studies investigating multiple object perception have demonstrated that visual cortex responses to multi-­object displays can be accurat...
Article
Full-text available
In everyday environments, the visual system needs to process information from many stimuli appearing at different locations across the visual field. How can the brain optimally deal with the complexity of such inputs? Visual information processing in occipitotemporal regions of the visual cortex is
Article
Objects belonging to different categories evoke reliably different fMRI activity patterns in human occipitotemporal cortex, with the most prominent distinction being that between animate and inanimate objects. An unresolved question is whether these categorical distinctions reflect category-associated visual properties of objects or whether they ge...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) is closely linked to conscious awareness: In most conceptions of WM, the inputs to WM need to be conscious. The findings of some recent studies, however, have been taken to suggest that WM can indeed operate on non-conscious inputs. Here, we argue that these findings can easily be accommodated by conventional conceptions of non-...
Article
Full-text available
Traditional memory research has focused on measuring and modeling the capacity of visual working memory for simple stimuli such as geometric shapes or colored disks. Although these studies have provided important insights, it is unclear how their findings apply to memory for more naturalistic stimuli. An important aspect of real-world scenes is tha...
Article
Our stable visual awareness of the world is thought to reflect the transient dominance of neural assemblies representing the conscious percept over competing assemblies representing other aspects of the visual input. These competitive dynamics can be tracked using continuous flash suppression (CFS), in which high-contrast patterns flashed into one...
Article
In daily life, humans are constantly required to select behaviorally relevant targets from cluttered and complex environments. In previous neuroimaging studies, the remarkable efficiency of such selection processes has been linked to a selective enhancement of the representation of behaviorally relevant stimulus categories in visual cortex. Althoug...
Article
What role does reward play in real-world human vision? Reward coding in the midbrain is thought to cause the rapid prioritization of reward-associated visual stimuli. However, existing evidence for this incentive salience hypothesis in vision is equivocal, particularly in naturalistic circumstances, and little is known about underlying neural syste...
Article
Full-text available
In organizing perception, the human visual system takes advantage of regularities in the visual input to perceptually group related image elements. Simple stimuli that can be perceptually grouped based on physical regularities, for example by forming an illusory contour, have a competitive advantage in entering visual awareness. Here, we show that...
Article
Reward is thought to motivate animal-approach behavior in part by automatically facilitating the perceptual processing of reward-associated visual stimuli. Studies have demonstrated this effect for low-level visual features such as color and orientation. However, outside of the laboratory, it is rare that low-level features uniquely characterize ob...
Article
Full-text available
The testing effect refers to the phenomenon that repeated retrieval of memories promotes better long-term retention than repeated study. To investigate the neural correlates of the testing effect, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging methods while participants performed a cued recall task. Prior to the neuroimaging experiment...
Article
In virtually every real-life situation humans are confronted with complex and cluttered visual environments that contain large amounts of visual information. Because of the limited capacity of the visual system, not all of this information can be processed at a given time. Consequently, items within a scene are competing for attentional resources....
Article
Full-text available
Visual cues from the face and the body provide information about another's identity, emotional state, and intentions. Previous neuroimaging studies that investigated neural responses to (bodiless) faces and (headless) bodies have reported overlapping face- and body-selective brain regions in right fusiform gyrus (FG). In daily life, however, faces...
Article
Full-text available
The repetition of a given stimulus leads to the attenuation of the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signal when compared to unrepeated stimuli, a phenomenon called fMRI adaptation or repetition suppression (RS). Previous studies have related RS of the fMRI signal behaviorally both to improved performance for the repeated stimulus (primi...
Article
Previous neuroimaging studies that investigated neural responses to (bodiless) faces and (headless) bodies have reported overlapping face- and body-selective brain regions in right fusiform gyrus (FG). In daily life, however, faces and bodies are typically perceived together and integrated into a whole person. This raises the question of how neural...
Article
Full-text available
Previously several functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies point toward the role of perceptual expectations in determining adaptation or repetition suppression (RS) in humans. These studies showed that the probability of repetitions of faces within a block influences the magnitude of adaptation in face-related areas of the human brain...

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