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A compositional neural code in high-level visual cortex can explain jumbled word reading

Agrawal, A and Hari, KVS and Arun, SP (2020) A compositional neural code in high-level visual cortex can explain jumbled word reading. In: eLife, 9 .

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.54846


We read jubmled wrods effortlessly, but the neural correlates of this remarkable ability remain poorly understood. We hypothesized that viewing a jumbled word activates a visual representation that is compared to known words. To test this hypothesis, we devised a purely visual model in which neurons tuned to letter shape respond to longer strings in a compositional manner by linearly summing letter responses. We found that dissimilarities between letter strings in this model can explain human performance on visual search, and responses to jumbled words in word reading tasks. Brain imaging revealed that viewing a string activates this letter-based code in the lateral occipital (LO) region and that subsequent comparisons to stored words are consistent with activations of the visual word form area (VWFA). Thus, a compositional neural code potentially contributes to efficient reading. © 2020, eLife Sciences Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: eLife
Publisher: eLife Sciences Publications Ltd
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to eLife Sciences Publications Ltd
Keywords: article; human; nerve cell; reading; visual cortex; neuroscience
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Neuroscience
Division of Electrical Sciences > Electrical Communication Engineering
Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 05:52
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2021 05:52
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/65735

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