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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. 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