We can sense an object's shape by vision or touch. Previous studies suggested that the inferolateral occipitotemporal cortex (ILOTC) implements supramodal shape representations as it responds more to seeing or touching objects than shapeless textures. However, such activation in the anterior portion of the ventral visual pathway could be due to the conceptual representation of an object or visual imagery triggered by touching an object. We addressed these possibilities by directly comparing shape and conceptual representations of objects in early blind (who lack visual experience/imagery) and sighted participants. We found that bilateral ILOTC in both groups showed stronger activation during a shape verification task than during a conceptual verification task made on the names of the same manmade objects. Moreover, the distributed activity in the ILOTC encoded shape similarity but not conceptual association among objects. Besides the ILOTC, we also found shape representation in both groups' bilateral ventral premotor cortices and intraparietal sulcus (IPS), a frontoparietal circuit relating to object grasping and haptic processing. In contrast, the conceptual verification task activated both groups' left perisylvian brain network relating to language processing and, interestingly, the cuneus in early blind participants only. The ILOTC had stronger functional connectivity to the frontoparietal circuit than to the left perisylvian network, forming a modular structure specialized in shape representation. Our results conclusively support that the ILOTC selectively implements shape representation independently of visual experience, and this unique functionality likely comes from its privileged connection to the frontoparietal haptic circuit.

Similar object shape representation encoded in the inferolateral occipitotemporal cortex of sighted and early blind people / Xu, Yangwen; Vignali, Lorenzo; Sigismondi, Federica; Crepaldi, Davide; Bottini, Roberto; Collignon, Olivier. - In: PLOS BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1545-7885. - ELETTRONICO. - 21:7(2023), p. e3001930. [10.1371/journal.pbio.3001930]

Similar object shape representation encoded in the inferolateral occipitotemporal cortex of sighted and early blind people

Xu, Yangwen
;
Vignali, Lorenzo;Sigismondi, Federica;Bottini, Roberto;Collignon, Olivier
2023-01-01

Abstract

We can sense an object's shape by vision or touch. Previous studies suggested that the inferolateral occipitotemporal cortex (ILOTC) implements supramodal shape representations as it responds more to seeing or touching objects than shapeless textures. However, such activation in the anterior portion of the ventral visual pathway could be due to the conceptual representation of an object or visual imagery triggered by touching an object. We addressed these possibilities by directly comparing shape and conceptual representations of objects in early blind (who lack visual experience/imagery) and sighted participants. We found that bilateral ILOTC in both groups showed stronger activation during a shape verification task than during a conceptual verification task made on the names of the same manmade objects. Moreover, the distributed activity in the ILOTC encoded shape similarity but not conceptual association among objects. Besides the ILOTC, we also found shape representation in both groups' bilateral ventral premotor cortices and intraparietal sulcus (IPS), a frontoparietal circuit relating to object grasping and haptic processing. In contrast, the conceptual verification task activated both groups' left perisylvian brain network relating to language processing and, interestingly, the cuneus in early blind participants only. The ILOTC had stronger functional connectivity to the frontoparietal circuit than to the left perisylvian network, forming a modular structure specialized in shape representation. Our results conclusively support that the ILOTC selectively implements shape representation independently of visual experience, and this unique functionality likely comes from its privileged connection to the frontoparietal haptic circuit.
2023
7
Xu, Yangwen; Vignali, Lorenzo; Sigismondi, Federica; Crepaldi, Davide; Bottini, Roberto; Collignon, Olivier
Similar object shape representation encoded in the inferolateral occipitotemporal cortex of sighted and early blind people / Xu, Yangwen; Vignali, Lorenzo; Sigismondi, Federica; Crepaldi, Davide; Bottini, Roberto; Collignon, Olivier. - In: PLOS BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1545-7885. - ELETTRONICO. - 21:7(2023), p. e3001930. [10.1371/journal.pbio.3001930]
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
journal.pbio.3001930.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Versione editoriale (Publisher’s layout)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 3.28 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.28 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/386809
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact