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Journal Article

Temporal properties of shape processing by event-related MEG adaptation


Huberle,  E
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Huberle, E., & Lutzenberger, W. (2013). Temporal properties of shape processing by event-related MEG adaptation. NeuroImage, 67, 119-126. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.10.070.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-B508-0
Object recognition is a fundamental mechanism of visual processing and requires the extraction of shape information. Early visual areas have been linked to the analysis of local image features, while higher visual areas of the ventral visual pathway rather mediate the perception and recognition of global shapes. Investigations of the spatiotemporal characteristics of shape analysis in the human visual cortex by rapid event-related fMRI adaptation in combination with a region of interest analysis suggested a transient manner of contour integration and shape processing in early visual areas compared to sustained processing in higher visual areas. fMRI adaptation (or repetition suppression) paradigms offer the possibility to enhance the restricted spatial resolution of conventional fMRI by focusing on decreased responses for repeated stimulus presentation. However, improving our understanding of complex neuronal mechanisms in the human brain requires the investigation not only at high spatial but also temporal resolution. A limitation of fMRI adaptation can be found in its poor temporal resolution which EEG- and MEG-techniques can overcome, though at a lower spatial resolution. The present study aimed to investigate temporal characteristics of shape processing in the human brain by adapting the principles of fMRI adaption in a MEG study. In parallel to an earlier fMRI study, the two stimuli of a trial were presented at varied interstimulus intervals. Additional analyses by means of a dipole analysis and co-registration of MEG and fMRI data were conducted. Adaptation was observed for the short as well as the longer interstimulus interval. Interestingly, the latency of the adaptation effects varied with the interstimulus interval. The findings support a late onset of adaption that possibly underlies global discrimination processes and recognition in higher areas of the ventral visual pathway. Further, the present results indicate a useful extension of adaptation paradigms and ‘region of interest’-analyses from fMRI to MEG at a high temporal resolution.