Michael J. Tarr

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According to modular models of cortical organization, many areas of the extrastriate cortex are dedicated to object categories. These models often assume an early processing stage for the detection of category membership. Can functional imaging isolate areas responsible for detection of members of a category, such as faces or letters? We consider whether(More)
Sensitivity to configural changes in face processing has been cited as evidence for face-exclusive mechanisms. Alternatively, general mechanisms could be fine-tuned by experience with homogeneous stimuli. We tested sensitivity to configural transformations for novices and experts with nonface stimuli ("Greebles"). Parts of transformed Greebles were(More)
Successful object recognition is essential for finding food, identifying kin, and avoiding danger, as well as many other adaptive behaviors. To accomplish this feat, the visual system must reconstruct 3-D interpretations from 2-D "snapshots" falling on the retina. Theories of recognition address this process by focusing on the question of how object(More)
Part of the ventral temporal lobe is thought to be critical for face perception, but what determines this specialization remains unknown. We present evidence that expertise recruits the fusiform gyrus 'face area'. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to measure changes associated with increasing expertise in brain areas selected for their(More)
Event-related potential (ERP) studies of the human brain have shown that object categories can be reliably distinguished as early as 130-170 ms on the surface of occipito-temporal cortex, peaking at the level of the N170 component. Consistent with this finding, neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies suggest major functional distinctions within the(More)
Behavioral studies have shown that picture-plane inversion impacts face and object recognition differently, thereby suggesting face-specific processing mechanisms in the human brain. Here we used event-related potentials to investigate the time course of this behavioral inversion effect in both faces and novel objects. ERPs were recorded for 14 subjects(More)
How do we recognize objects despite differences in their retinal projections when they are seen at different orientations? Marr and Nishihara (1978) proposed that shapes are represented in memory as structural descriptions in objectcentered coordinate systems, so that an object is represented identically regardless of its orientation. An alternative(More)
How does the primate visual system process and identify objects? Central to this question is that visual recognition can occur at many levels, from coarse categories, for example “a car,” to highly specific individuals, “my dad’s 1960 TR3 convertible” (subordinate-level processing). The processing demands exerted by these two tasks seem to require separable(More)
Is human object recognition viewpoint dependent or viewpoint invariant under "everyday" conditions? I. Biederman and P.C. Gerhardstein (1993) argued that viewpoint-invariant mechanisms are used almost exclusively. However, our analysis indicates that (a) their conditions for immediate viewpoint invariance lack the generality to characterize a wide range of(More)