9.71 | Fall 2007 | Undergraduate

Functional MRI of High-Level Vision


This is a set of examples of the kinds of things that the instructor expects you to know. This is not an exhaustive list of everything that you might be tested on.

  1. What does it mean to say that a representation is invariant to changes in size?
  2. What fMRI method would be useful for testing whether representations in a given brain region have this property?
  3. Where is the calcarine sulcus (approximately) and what functional region is found there?
  4. Describe one empirical result (either behavioral and/or based on fMRI) suggesting that scene recognition can proceed without object recognition.
  5. Give an example of a 2x2 factorial design experiment (you can make it up).
  6. Where is the temporal lobe? Parietal? Occipital?
  7. What were the two key advances that made fMRI possible (versus MRI)?
  8. What is the biggest safety risk of MRI?
  9. What is the time resolution of fMRI (approximately) and what limits its resolution?
  10. What is the difference between event-related and blocked designs?
  11. What is a sulcus? gyrus? fissure?
  12. Through what structure does visual information pass en route from the retina to the cortex?
  13. In what cortical area does visual information first arrive when coming from the retina?
  14. Describe one result that implicates the PPA in navigational tasks, and another that argues against this interpretation.
  15. What is retinotopy?
  16. Describe the contrast between two stimuli that has been used to define each of the following functionally-defined regions: the FFA, PPA, and EBA.
  17. In the design of an fMRI experiment, when are stimulus manipulations more effective and when are task manipulations more effective?
  18. What is a “minimal pair”?
  19. If you find that a given brain region produces the same magnitude of response to familiar and unfamiliar faces, does this mean that this region is not involved in face recognition (i.e. in matching perceptual information to stored information about known faces)? Why/why not?
  20. What is the “multiple comparisons” problem in neuroimaging statistics and how can it be handled?
  21. What is a “region of interest” approach and what advantages does it have over a whole-brain analysis?
  22. What does it mean that object recognition is a “hard problem”, and why is it hard?
  23. It is often said that the two challenges of any object recognition system are attaining invariance and specificity. What does this mean?
  24. Is there any evidence that LOC is necessary for object recognition? If so, describe it. If not, describe why this kind of evidence might not exist.
  25. Define prosopagnosia and describe some of the functions that would be preserved and some that would be lost in a very selective case of prosopagnosia.
  26. What is the behavioral face inversion effect?
  27. What is meant by the claim that faces are processed “holistically”? Describe one behavioral result that supports this claim.
  28. What does categorical perception mean? What behavioral finding provides the best evidence for CP?
  29. What are the two defining properties of attention?
  30. What is the earliest stage of the visual system where attention effects have been demonstrated?
  31. What are two hypotheses that have been discussed that offer answers to the question of what differs between representations that are accessible to awareness versus representations that are not?

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2007
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Presentation Assignments