Extensive childhood experience with Pokémon suggests eccentricity drives organization of visual cortex

Jesse Gomez, Michael Barnett, Kalanit Grill-Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The functional organization of human high-level visual cortex, such as the face- and place-selective regions, is strikingly consistent across individuals. An unanswered question in neuroscience concerns which dimensions of visual information constrain the development and topography of this shared brain organization. To answer this question, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan a unique group of adults who, as children, had extensive visual experience with Pokémon. These animal-like, pixelated characters are dissimilar from other ecological categories, such as faces and places, along critical dimensions (foveal bias, rectilinearity, size, animacy). We show not only that adults who have Pokémon experience demonstrate distinct distributed cortical responses to Pokémon, but also that the experienced retinal eccentricity during childhood can predict the locus of Pokémon responses in adulthood. These data demonstrate that inherent functional representations in the visual cortex—retinal eccentricity—combined with consistent viewing behaviour of particular stimuli during childhood result in a shared functional topography in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)611-624
Number of pages14
JournalNature Human Behaviour
Volume3
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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