December 19, 2012
How the Brain Categorizes Thousands of Objects and Actions
Humans perceive numerous categories of objects and actions, but where are these categories represented spatially in the brain? Researchers reporting in the Dec. 20 issue of the Cell Press journal Neuron present their study that undertook the remarkable task of determining how the brain maps over a thousand object and action categories when subjects watched natural movie clips. The results demonstrate that the brain efficiently represents the diversity of categories in a compact space. Instead of having a distinct brain area devoted to each category, as previous work had identified, for some but not all types of stimuli, the researchers uncovered that brain activity is organized by the relationship between categories.
Credit: Huth et al., Neuron