Tactile shape discrimination recruits human lateral occipital complex during early perceptual processing

Joshua N. Lucan, John J. Foxe, Manuel Gomez-Ramirez, K. Sathian, Sophie Molholm

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47 Scopus citations


Neuroimaging studies investigating somatosensory-based object recognition in humans have revealed activity in the lateral occipital complex, a cluster of regions primarily associated with visual object recognition. To date, determining whether this activity occurs during or subsequent to recognition per se, has been difficult to assess due to the lowtemporal resolution of the hemodynamic response. To more finelymeasure the timing of somatosensory object recognition processes we employed high density EEG using amodified version of a paradigm previously applied to neuroimaging experiments. Simple geometric shapes were presented to the right index finger of 10 participantswhile the ongoing EEGwas measured time locked to the stimulus. In the condition of primary interest participants discriminated the shape of the stimulus. In the alternate condition they judged stimulus duration. Using traditional event-related potential analysis techniques we found significantly greater amplitudes in the evoked potentials of the shape discrimination condition between 140 and 160ms, a timeframe inwhich LOCmediated perceptual processes are believed to occur during visual object recognition. Scalp voltage topography and source analysis procedures indicated the lateral occipital complex as the likely source behind this effect. This finding supports amultisensory role for the lateral occipital complex during object recognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1813-1821
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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