Abstract

Previous neuroimaging research suggests that although object shape is analyzed in the lateral occipital cortex, surface properties of objects, such as color and texture, are dealt with in more medial areas, close to the collateral sulcus (CoS). The present study sought to determine whether there is a single medial region concerned with surface properties in general or whether instead there are multiple foci independently extracting different surface properties. We used stimuli varying in their shape, texture, or color, and tested healthy participants and 2 object-agnosic patients, in both a discrimination task and a functional MR adaptation paradigm. We found a double dissociation between medial and lateral occipitotemporal cortices in processing surface (texture or color) versus geometric (shape) properties, respectively. In Experiment 2, we found that the medial occipitotemporal cortex houses separate foci for color (within anterior CoS and lingual gyrus) and texture (caudally within posterior CoS). In addition, we found that areas selective for shape, texture, and color individually were quite distinct from those that respond to all of these features together (shape and texture and color). These latter areas appear to correspond to those associated with the perception of complex stimuli such as faces and places.

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