Transformation of shape information in the ventral pathway

Charles E. Connor, Scott L. Brincat, Anitha Pasupathy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Object perception seems effortless to us, but it depends on intensive neural processing across multiple stages in ventral pathway visual cortex. Shape information at the retinal level is hopelessly complex, variable and implicit. The ventral pathway must somehow transform retinal signals into much more compact, stable and explicit representations of object shape. Recent findings highlight key aspects of this transformation: higher-order contour derivatives, structural representation in object-based coordinates, composite shape tuning dimensions, and long-term storage of object knowledge. These coding principles could help to explain our remarkable ability to perceive, distinguish, remember and understand a virtual infinity of objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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