Vision neuroscience has made great strides in understanding the hierarchical organization of object representations along the ventral visual stream (VVS). How VVS representations capture fine-grained visual similarities between objects that observers subjectively perceive has received limited examination so far. In the current study, we addressed this question by focusing on perceived visual similarities among subordinate exemplars of real world-categories. We hypothesized that these perceived similarities are reflected with highest fidelity in neural activity patterns downstream from inferotemporal regions, namely in perirhinal and anterolateral entorhinal cortex in the medial temporal-lobe. To address this issue with fMRI, we administered a modified 1-Back task that required discrimination between category exemplars as well as categorization. Further, we obtained observer-specific ratings of perceived visual similarities, which predicted behavioural performance during scanning. As anticipated, we found that activity patterns in perirhinal and anterolateral entorhinal cortex predicted the structure of perceived visual similarity relationships among category exemplars, including its observer-specific component, with higher precision than any other VVS region. Our findings provide new evidence that subjective aspects of object perception that rely on fine-grained visual differentiation are reflected with highest fidelity in the medial temporal lobe.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting fields. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 6,7
- Ali R Khan
- Stefan Köhler
- Kayla M Ferko
- Anna Blumenthal
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: Human subjects: The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Western Ontario (REB # 115283). Informed consent was obtained from each participant before the experiment, including consent to publish anonymized results.
- Lila Davachi, Columbia University, United States
© 2022, Ferko et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Relief of ongoing pain is a potent motivator of behavior, directing actions to escape from or reduce potentially harmful stimuli. Whereas endogenous modulation of pain events is well characterized, relatively little is known about the modulation of pain relief and its corresponding neurochemical basis. Here we studied pain modulation during a probabilistic relief-seeking task (a 'wheel of fortune' gambling task), in which people actively or passively received reduction of a tonic thermal pain stimulus. We found that relief perception was enhanced by active decisions and unpredictability, and greater in high novelty-seeking trait individuals, consistent with a model in which relief is tuned by its informational content. We then probed the roles of dopaminergic and opioidergic signaling, both of which are implicated in relief processing, by embedding the task in a double-blinded cross-over design with administration of the dopamine precursor levodopa and the opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone. We found that levodopa enhanced each of these information-specific aspects of relief modulation but no significant effects of the opioidergic manipulation. These results show that dopaminergic signaling has a key role in modulating the perception of pain relief to optimize motivation and behavior.
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