Title

Distributed Representation of Visual Objects by Single Neurons in the Human Brain

Department

neurology

Document Type

Article

Abstract

It remains unclear how single neurons in the human brain represent whole-object visual stimuli. While recordings in both human and nonhuman primates have shown distributed representations of objects (many neurons encoding multiple objects), recordings of single neurons in the human medial temporal lobe, taken as subjects’ discriminated objects during multiple presentations, have shown gnostic representations (single neurons encoding one object). Because some studies suggest that repeated viewing may enhance neural selectivity for objects, we had human subjects discriminate objects in a single, more naturalistic viewing session. We found that, across 432 well isolated neurons recorded in the hippocampus and amygdala, the average fraction of objects encoded was 26%. We also found that more neurons encoded several objects versus only one object in the hippocampus (28 vs 18%, p < 0.001) and in the amygdala (30 vs 19%, p < 0.001). Thus, during realistic viewing experiences, typical neurons in the human medial temporal lobe code for a considerable range of objects, across multiple semantic categories.

Medical Subject Headings

neurology

Publication Date

2015

Publication Title

Journal of Neuroscience

ISSN

2706474

Volume

35

Issue

13

First Page

5180

Last Page

5186

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1958-14.2015

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