All things big and small: The brain's discerning taste for size

The human brain can recognize thousands of different objects, but neuroscientists have long grappled with how the brain organizes object representation; Now researchers at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences have discovered that the brain organizes objects based on their physical size, with a specific region of the brain reserved for recognizing large objects and another reserved for small objects. How we interact with objects in the world is deeply and intrinsically tied to their real-world size, and this matters for how our brain's visual system organizes object information. By evaluating the scans, the researchers found that there are distinct regions of the brain that respond to big objects (for example, a chair or a table), and small objects (for example, a paperclip or a strawberry). Small objects are handled in the inferior temporal region of the brain, near regions that are active when the brain has to manipulate tools like a hammer or a screwdriver.

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June 20, 2012 June 24, 2012 ScienceDaily CognitiveScience Robots Vision NewsFinder Text English HTML

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  1. (sim=0.720) 9073: The brain organizes objects by size: MIT scientists


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