Visual object recognition is classically believed to involve two stages: a perception stage in which perceptual information is integrated, and a memory stage in which perceptual information is matched with an object's representation. The transition from the perception to the memory stage can be slowed to allow for neuroanatomical segregation using a degraded visual stimuli (DVS) task in which images are first presented at low spatial resolution and then gradually sharpened. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we characterized these two stages using a DVS task based on the classic model. To separate periods that are assumed to dominate the perception, memory, and post-recognition stages, subjects responded once when they could guess the identity of the object in the image and a second time when they were certain of the identity. Activation of the right medial occipitotemporal region and the posterior part of the rostral medial frontal cortex was found to be characteristic of the perception and memory stages, respectively. Although the known role of the former region in perceptual integration was consistent with the classic model, a likely role of the latter region in monitoring for confirmation of recognition suggests the advantage of recently proposed interactive models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas