Oscillatory Dynamics of Perceptual to Conceptual Transformations in the Ventral Visual Pathway.


Object recognition requires dynamic transformations of low-level visual inputs to complex semantic representations. While this process depends on the ventral visual pathway (VVP), we lack an incremental account from low-level inputs to semantic representations, and the mechanistic details of these dynamics. Here we combine computational models of vision with semantics, and test the output of the incremental model against patterns of neural oscillations recorded with MEG in humans. Representational Similarity Analysis showed visual information was represented in alpha activity throughout the VVP, and semantic information was represented in theta activity. Furthermore, informational connectivity showed visual information travels through feedforward connections, while visual information is transformed into semantic representations through feedforward and feedback activity, centered on the anterior temporal lobe. Our research highlights that the complex transformations between visual and semantic information is driven by feedforward and recurrent dynamics resulting in object-specific semantics.