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Boucart and Humphreys reported an automatic access to object identity when observers attend to a physical property of the form of an object (e.g. the orientation) but not to its colour. We sought evidence for automatic identification in a brain imaging study using fMRI. In an orientation decision task participants decided whether a picture was vertical or horizontal. In the colour decision task participants decided if a picture was blue or green. Activation of areas 18-19 was found for both color and orientation. Activation of the temporal area 37 occurred more frequently in the orientation than in the colour decision task. This result suggests that automatic identification activates the same brain area as overt processing of semantic information.


Journal article



Publication Date





2379 - 2383


Adult, Color Perception, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Pattern Recognition, Visual, Psychomotor Performance, Space Perception, Temporal Lobe, Visual Cortex, Visual Pathways