Researchers lay out a map of the brain’s everyday categorizations

By Arturo Garcia
Saturday, December 22, 2012 21:56 EDT
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Alex Huth explains brain-mapping study
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A team of scientists at the University of California-Berkley have put together a map detailing how the human brain organizes objects on actions every day, The Verge reported earlier this week.

The team, based out of the Gallant Lab at the university, also posted a video abstract of its findings on YouTube.

“What we see is a really complex pattern of sequential selectivity thoughout the higher cortex,” said doctoral student Alex Huth, whose team’s findings was published in the journal Neuron on Wednesday.

For the study, Huth and his team used an MRI machine to track the brain activity of five human subjects asked to watch two hours of specially-designed movie trailers, with each of the 1,700 different kinds of motions and objects shown detailed beforehand.

Using regression analysis, the researchers then measured how each of those was stored across 30,000 locations in the brain, and also posted an interactive online model demonstrating their findings.

“Projection of the recovered semantic space onto cortical flat maps shows that semantic selectivity is organized into smooth gradients that cover much of visual and nonvisual cortex,” the team wrote. “Furthermore, both the recovered semantic space and the cortical organization of the space are shared across different individuals.”

Watch Huth explain his team’s experiment in this video abstract, posted on YouTube on Wednesday by gallantlab, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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