Predominantly extra-retinotopic cortical response to pattern symmetry

Christopher W Tyler, Heidi A Baseler, Leonid L Kontsevich, Lora T Likova, Alex R Wade, Brian A Wandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Symmetry along one or more axes is a key property of objects and biological organisms. We report on a bilateral visual region of occipital cortex that responds strongly to the presence of multiple symmetries in the viewed image. The stimuli consisted of random dots organized in fourfold and onefold mirror-symmetric patterns, against random control stimuli. The contrast between symmetric and random patterns produced negligible or inconsistent activation of the primary visual projection area V1 or of other medial occipital projection areas. However, there was strong symmetry-specific activation in extra-retinotopic lateral occipital cortex. The high level of activation in this region of cortex may represent part of a general class of computations that require integration of information across a large span of the visual field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-14
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Brain Mapping
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Form Perception
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Vision, Binocular
  • Visual Cortex

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