The University of Massachusetts Amherst

In Pictures

Mind’s Eye: Probing Imaging Data to Reveal Brain Function

Regions of the visual cortex in the human brain exhibit patterns of activation which represent the characteristics of the object being viewed. In the image above, the most primitive visual processing stations in the back of the brain contain information about the simple features of an object (green/blue), such as its orientation. The higher visual processing areas further forward in the brain contain neural representations that reflect information about whole objects (yellow/orange). UMass Amherst cognitive neuroscientist Rosie Cowell (Psychological and Brain Sciences) is using computational modeling along with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate these brain patterns and develop an integrated model of how brain functions such as memory and visual perception interact across neural networks rather than in isolation from each other. Cowell is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award. Learn more.

Image credit: Cowell Research Group