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Visual object population codes
relating human brains to nonhuman and computational models with representational similarity analysis

Objective

Two major challenges facing systems neuroscience today are (1) to relate computational brain theory with its notions of parallel computation and population-code representation to massively multivariate spatiotemporal brain-activity data as acquired with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and cell recording and (2) to relate brain representations in animal models (e.g. nonhuman primates) to human brain representations. This project tackles these challenges with a focus on visual object recognition in human and nonhuman primates. Object recognition is a still poorly understood key problem of computational neuroscience with implications for cortical computation in general. We will test computational models and relate representational content of population codes between human and nonhuman primates by means of a novel multivariate technique called representational similarity analysis (RSA). The core idea of RSA is to characterize a given brain representation by a dissimilarity matrix of stimulus-evoked activity patterns and to visualize and statistically compare such dissimilarity matrices. In contrast to existing approaches, computational models here form an integral component of the analysis of brain-activity data. We will match up representationally homologous regions between human and nonhuman primate and determine which computational models best explain the empirical data (from human and nonhuman primate fMRI) for each brain region. Moreover this project will further develop the technique of RSA and provide an easy-to-use and freely available Matlab toolbox to the community. By richly relating brain theory to data and human to nonhuman primate studies, this project bridges major divides and will contribute to a more integrated systems neuroscience.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology/neuroscience/computational neuroscience
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/radiology/medical imaging/magnetic resonance imaging
  • /social sciences/sociology/anthropology/physical anthropology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/zoology/mammalogy/primatology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/neurobiology/neuroscience

Call for proposal

ERC-2010-StG_20091118
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Host institution

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Address
North Star Avenue Polaris House 2 Floor David Phillips Building
SN2 1FL Swindon
United Kingdom
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 499 241
Principal investigator
Nikolaus Kriegeskorte (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Anthea Hills (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 1 499 241
Address
North Star Avenue Polaris House 2 Floor David Phillips Building
SN2 1FL Swindon
Activity type
Research Organisations
Principal investigator
Nikolaus Kriegeskorte (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Anthea Hills (Ms.)