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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3228

Mechelli, A; Price, C J; Friston, K J; Ishai, A (2004). Where bottom-up meets top-down: neuronal interactions during perception and imagery. Cerebral Cortex, 14(11):1256-1265.

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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified category-selective regions in ventral occipito-temporal cortex that respond preferentially to faces and other objects. The extent to which these patterns of activation are modulated by bottom-up or top-down mechanisms is currently unknown. We combined fMRI and dynamic causal modelling to investigate neuronal interactions between occipito-temporal, parietal and frontal regions, during visual perception and visual imagery of faces, houses and chairs. Our results indicate that, during visual perception, category-selective patterns of activation in extrastriate cortex are mediated by content-sensitive forward connections from early visual areas. In contrast, during visual imagery, category-selective activation is mediated by content-sensitive backward connections from prefrontal cortex. Additionally, we report content-unrelated connectivity between parietal cortex and the category-selective regions, during both perception and imagery. Thus, our investigation revealed that neuronal interactions between occipito-temporal, parietal and frontal regions are task- and stimulus-dependent. Sensory representations of faces and objects are mediated by bottom-up mechanisms arising in early visual areas and top-down mechanisms arising in prefrontal cortex, during perception and imagery respectively. Additionally non-selective, top-down processes, originating in superior parietal areas, contribute to the generation of mental images, regardless of their content, and their maintenance in the 'mind's eye'.


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227 citations in Scopus®
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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:19 Mar 2009 09:16
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:26
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhh087
PubMed ID:15192010

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