Tasks and their role in visual neuroscience

Kendrick Kay, Kathryn Bonnen, Rachel N. Denison, Mike J. Arcaro, David L. Barack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Vision is widely used as a model system to gain insights into how sensory inputs are processed and interpreted by the brain. Historically, careful quantification and control of visual stimuli have served as the backbone of visual neuroscience. There has been less emphasis, however, on how an observer's task influences the processing of sensory inputs. Motivated by diverse observations of task-dependent activity in the visual system, we propose a framework for thinking about tasks, their role in sensory processing, and how we might formally incorporate tasks into our models of vision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1697-1713
Number of pages17
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 7 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank E. Cooper for extensive conversations and help with the initial version of this manuscript. We also thank I. Charest, M. Cole, C. Curtis, R. Poldrack, A. Schapiro, and M. Waskom for helpful discussions. Finally, we thank J. Breedlove, T. Knapen, T. Naselaris, B. Turner, and A. White for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by startup funds from Boston University (R.N.D.).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • behavior
  • brain
  • information processing
  • modeling
  • task
  • visual cortex

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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