Disentangling scene content and scene layout: Complementary roles for the PPA and LOC in representing natural images.
Journal of Neuroscience (in press).
Park, S., Brady, T.F., Greene, M.R., & Oliva, A.
and computational studies suggest that visual scene analysis rapidly produces
a rich description of both the objects and the spatial layout of surfaces in
a scene. However, there is still a large gap in our understanding of how the
human brain accomplishes these diverse functions of scene understanding. Here
we probe the nature of real-world scene representations using multi-voxel
fMRI pattern analysis. We show that natural scenes are analyzed in a
distributed and complementary manner by the parahippocampal place area (PPA)
and the lateral occipital complex (LOC) in particular, as well as other
regions in the ventral stream. Specifically, we study the classification performance
of different scene-selective regions using images that vary in spatial boundary
and naturalness content. We discover that whereas both the PPA and LOC can accurately
classify scenes, they make different errors: the PPA more often confuses scenes
that have the same spatial boundaries, whereas the LOC more often confuses