Document Detail

Humans and monkeys share visual representations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21502509     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Conceptual abilities in animals have been shown at several levels of abstraction, but it is unclear whether the analogy with humans results from convergent evolution or from shared brain mechanisms inherited from a common origin. Macaque monkeys can access "non-similarity-based concepts," such as when sorting pictures containing a superordinate target category (animal, tree, etc.) among other scenes. However, such performances could result from low-level visual processing based on learned regularities of the photographs, such as for scene categorization by artificial systems. By using pictures of man-made objects or animals embedded in man-made or natural contexts, the present study clearly establishes that macaque monkeys based their categorical decision on the presence of the animal targets regardless of the scene backgrounds. However, as is found with humans, monkeys performed better with categorically congruent object/context associations, especially when small object sizes favored background information. The accuracy improvements and the response-speed gains attributable to superordinate category congruency in monkeys were strikingly similar to those of human subjects tested with the same task and stimuli. These results suggest analogous processing of visual information during the activation of abstract representations in both humans and monkeys; they imply a large overlap between superordinate visual representations in humans and macaques as well as the implicit use of experienced associations between object and context.
Denis Fize; Maxime Cauchoix; Michèle Fabre-Thorpe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-04-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America     Volume:  108     ISSN:  1091-6490     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.     Publication Date:  2011 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-05-04     Completed Date:  2011-07-15     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505876     Medline TA:  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  7635-40     Citation Subset:  IM    
Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Centre de Recherche Cerveau et Cognition, 31062 Toulouse, France.
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MeSH Terms
Analysis of Variance
Association Learning / physiology*
Computer Simulation
Discrimination (Psychology)*
Macaca mulatta / physiology*
Middle Aged
Photic Stimulation
Visual Perception / physiology*

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