Object priming in the fusiform cortex: Exploring effects of task and visual similarity
Harvey, Denise Y.
Dannemiller, James L.
Master of Arts thesis
Neural priming for same and different exemplars and viewpoints of objects was examined in two experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In line with previous studies, viewpoint- and exemplar-specific priming was observed in the right fusiform gyrus (RFG). In contrast to some studies, viewpoint- but not exemplar-abstract priming was observed in the left fusiform gyrus (LFG). In the first experiment, neither task-demands nor visual similarity affected priming in the LFG. However, the RFG, including an area specialized for processing faces (the fusiform face area) was sensitive to the visual similarity of exemplar pairs. The second experiment explored this unpredicted result, but did not replicate the visual similarity effects. Results suggest that RFG and LFG are differentially sensitive to changes in viewpoint and are unaffected by task demands or visual similarity.