Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuroimaging reveals how brain uses objects to recognize scenes

Date:
September 26, 2011
Source:
Boston College
Summary:
A new study by psychologists helps to explain how people quickly and accurately recognize complicated scenes such as playgrounds, kitchens and traffic intersections.

Scene patterns evoked by actual scenes in one half of scans were compared to predictor patterns derived from object-evoked patterns from the opposite half.
Credit: Image courtesy of Boston College

Research conducted by Boston College neuroscientist Sean MacEvoy and colleague Russell Epstein of the University of Pennsylvania finds evidence of a new way of considering how the brain processes and recognizes a person's surroundings, according to a paper published in the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience.

For the study, MacEvoy and Epstein used functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) to help them identify how the brain figures out where it is in the world (scene recognition). Study participants had their brains scanned while they looked at photos of four types of scenes: kitchens, bathrooms, intersections and playgrounds. Separately, the researchers took brain scans while the subjects looked at photos of individual objects particular to those scenes (e.g., refrigerators, bathtubs, cars, and slides).

MacEvoy and Epstein found that they could use the brain patterns produced by objects as keys to decipher the brain patterns produced by scenes, and could "read out" what type of scene a participant was seeing at a given point in time. Neuroscientists typically link the brain area involved, known as the lateral occipital complex, to object recognition.

"While previous research on scene recognition has emphasized the role of the three-dimensional layout of scenes in this process, our results suggest a separate system that utilizes information about the objects in scenes to piece together where we are. While that's a strategy that many of us think we might use, here we have evidence of a brain area that could be responsible for it," explained MacEvoy, an assistant professor in the Boston College Psychology Department and principal investigator of the department's Vision and Cognition Lab, which uses fMRI combined with behavioral methods to understand the neuroscience of visual perception and cognition. "The existence of a second route for scene processing could be helpful in the development of treatment strategies for patients with brain-injuries that impact their ability to recognize where they are, which can be severely debilitating."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sean P MacEvoy, Russell A Epstein. Constructing scenes from objects in human occipitotemporal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nn.2903

Cite This Page:

Boston College. "Neuroimaging reveals how brain uses objects to recognize scenes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913172705.htm>.
Boston College. (2011, September 26). Neuroimaging reveals how brain uses objects to recognize scenes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913172705.htm
Boston College. "Neuroimaging reveals how brain uses objects to recognize scenes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913172705.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins