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Form and color in human visual coutex

English title Form and color in human visual coutex
Applicant Kiper Daniel
Number 116809
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Neuroinformatik Universität Zürich Irchel und ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.09.2007 - 31.12.2010
Approved amount 171'550.00
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Keywords (6)

form vision; color vision; visual cortex; psychophysics; functional magnetic resonance imaging; neural adaptation

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
One of the major controversies in modern visual neuroscience concerns the treatment of signals related carrying information about different visual attributes. I particular, proponents of the segregation hypothesis postulate that form and color signals are treated by independent, segregated populations of neurons. In the opposite view, individual cortical neurons are able to code for both attributes simultaneously. We propose a set of psychophysical and imaging experiments that will answer the following question(s): 1) Are form selective mechanisms of the human brain color selective? And if they are, 2) what is their selectivity in color space? And 3) are particular colors preferentially represented? Finally, we will also determine the brain loci of the mechanisms responsible for form and color processing in the human brain. We use Glass patterns as stimuli. Glass patterns are made of numerous dot pairs arranged in a specific pattern, for example circular. These stimuli are particularly well suited to investigate the early stages of form perception. Using colored Glass patterns, we can measure the chromatic properties of the mechanisms responsible for form perception. Moreover, imaging experiments with Glass patterns will allow us to locate the initial stages of form processing. For all experiments, we use adaptation protocols. Adaptation is a powerful and well-documented tool to investigate the properties of neural mechanisms. Adaptation protocols have been developed for psychophysical experiments as well as for imaging studies. We can thus use the same stimuli and similar protocols for all our experiments. As a result, we will be able to meaningfully compare behavioral and neural results. In other words, we will be able to determine whether the properties of the neural populations revealed by our imaging experiments can explain the behavioral data we obtained in psychophysical experiments.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


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Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
67980 Color constancy in macaque visual cortex 01.10.2002 Project funding