Eccentricity and the Development of the Human Ventral Visual Stream

Eccentricity and the Development of the Human Ventral Visual Stream, Kalanit Grill-Spector, Stanford University.

Why do clustered and distributed representations of visual categories in human ventral temporal cortex (VTC) have a consistent cortical topography across people?

Here, I will describe two recent studies from my lab that address this important question. Using fMRI in combination with population receptive field (pRF) modeling and eye tracking in children and adults, we discovered that viewing behavioral during childhood plays a key role in shaping representations to learned categories such as faces, words, and even invented categories such as Pokémon. Strikingly, we found that fixation patterns on these stimuli during childhood play a major role in shaping not only the properties of pRFs in VTC, but also where regions that process these stimuli develop in VTC. Together these findings suggest that inherent eccentricity representations in early childhood combined with consistent viewing behavior during childhood result in a shared functional topography in adulthood.

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Sponsored by the Cognitive Science Program