An important aspect of visual object recognition is the ability to perceive object shape. Two basic components of complex shapes are straight and curved contours. A large body of evidence suggests a modular hierarchy for shape representation progressing from simple and complex orientation in early areas V1 and V2, to increasingly complex stages of curvature representation in V4, TEO, and TE. Here, we reinforce and extend the concept of modular representation. Using intrinsic signal optical imaging in Macaque area V4, we find sub-millimeter sized modules for curvature representation that are organized from low to high curvatures as well as domains with complex curvature preference. We propose a possible ‘curvature hypercolumn’ within V4. In combination with previous studies, we suggest that the key emergent functions at each stage of cortical processing are represented in systematic, modular maps.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)