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Visual Processing: Extrastriate Cortex

Despite the ease with which we identify objects in complex environments, the computation of meaningful global forms from local image features on the retina is a challenging task for the visual system. The extrastriate cortex, all of the cortex anterior to the primary visual cortex, is implicated in supporting visual mechanisms that convert signals about basic visual features (e.g., position and orientation) to global form percepts in the human brain. In particular, a network of visual areas with selectivity for features of increasing complexity has been implicated in this task: Local image features (e.g., position and orientation) are processed in the primary visual cortex, whereas complex shapes and object categories (faces, bodies, and places) are represented toward the end of the visual pathway in the ...

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