Visual representations are dominated by intrinsic fluctuations correlated between areas

Linda Henriksson, Seyed Mahdi Khaligh-Razavi, Kendrick Kay, Nikolaus Kriegeskorte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intrinsic cortical dynamics are thought to underlie trial-to-trial variability of visually evoked responses in animal models. Understanding their function in the context of sensory processing and representation is a major current challenge. Here we report that intrinsic cortical dynamics strongly affect the representational geometry of a brain region, as reflected in response-pattern dissimilarities, and exaggerate the similarity of representations between brain regions. We characterized the representations in several human visual areas by representational dissimilarity matrices (RDMs) constructed from fMRI response-patterns for natural image stimuli. The RDMs of different visual areas were highly similar when the response-patterns were estimated on the basis of the same trials (sharing intrinsic cortical dynamics), and quite distinct when patterns were estimated on the basis of separate trials (sharing only the stimulus-driven component). We show that the greater similarity of the representational geometries can be explained by coherent fluctuations of regional-mean activation within visual cortex, reflecting intrinsic dynamics. Using separate trials to study stimulus-driven representations revealed clearer distinctions between the representational geometries: a Gabor wavelet pyramid model explained representational geometry in visual areas V1-3 and a categorical animate-inanimate model in the object-responsive lateral occipital cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-286
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage
Volume114
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Aalto University , the European Research Council (Advanced Grant # 232946 to R. Hari) and the Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher Grant ( 278957 ) to LH, and a European Research Council Starting Grant ( 261352 ) to NK. The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015.

Keywords

  • Functional MRI
  • Intrinsic dynamics
  • Natural images
  • Pattern information
  • Representational similarity
  • Visual cortex

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Visual representations are dominated by intrinsic fluctuations correlated between areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this