A.M. van Loon
B. van der Velde
- NMDA Receptor Antagonist Ketamine Distorts Object Recognition by Reducing Feedback to Early Visual Cortex
- Cerebral Cortex
- Volume | Issue number
- 26 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
It is a well-established fact that top-down processes influence neural representations in lower-level visual areas. Electrophysiological recordings in monkeys as well as theoretical models suggest that these top-down processes depend on NMDA receptor functioning. However, this underlying neural mechanism has not been tested in humans. We used fMRI multivoxel pattern analysis to compare the neural representations of ambiguous Mooney images before and after they were recognized with their unambiguous grayscale version. Additionally, we administered ketamine, an NMDA receptor antagonist, to interfere with this process. Our results demonstrate that after recognition, the pattern of brain activation elicited by a Mooney image is more similar to that of its easily recognizable grayscale version than to the pattern evoked by the identical Mooney image before recognition. Moreover, recognition of Mooney images decreased mean response; however, neural representations of separate images became more dissimilar. So from the neural perspective, unrecognizable Mooney images all “look the same”, whereas recognized Mooneys look different. We observed these effects in posterior fusiform part of lateral occipital cortex and in early visual cortex. Ketamine distorted these effects of recognition, but in early visual cortex only. This suggests that top-down processes from higher- to lower-level visual areas might operate via an NMDA pathway.
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