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Human V4 Activity Patterns Predict Behavioral Performance in Imagery of Object Color

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Bannert,  MM
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bartels,  A
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bannert, M., & Bartels, A. (2018). Human V4 Activity Patterns Predict Behavioral Performance in Imagery of Object Color. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(15), 3657-3668. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2307-17.2018.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-7CD8-1
Abstract
Color is special among basic visual features in that it can form a defining part of objects that are engrained in our memory. Whereas most neuroimaging research on human color vision has focused on responses related to external stimulation, the present study investigated how sensory-driven color vision is linked to subjective color perception induced by object imagery. We recorded fMRI activity in male and female volunteers during viewing of abstract color stimuli that were red, green, or yellow in half of the runs. In the other half we asked them to produce mental images of colored, meaningful objects (such as tomato, grapes, banana) corresponding to the same three color categories. Although physically presented color could be decoded from all retinotopically mapped visual areas, only hV4 allowed predicting colors of imagined objects when classifiers were trained on responses to physical colors. Importantly, only neural signal in hV4 was predictive of behavioral performance in the color judgment task on a trial-by-trial basis. The commonality between neural representations of sensory-driven and imagined object color and the behavioral link to neural representations in hV4 identifies area hV4 as a perceptual hub linking externally triggered color vision with color in self-generated object imagery.