Beyond retinotopic mapping: The spatial representation of objects in the human lateral occipital complex

Ayelet McKyton*, Ehud Zohary

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The spatial representation in the human ventral object-related areas (i.e., the lateral occipital complex [LOC]) is currently unknown. It seems plausible, however, that it would diverge from the strict retinotopic mapping (characteristic of V1) to a more invariant coordinate frame, thereby allowing for reliable object recognition in the face of eye, head, or body movement. To study this, we compared the fMRI activation in LOC when object displacement was limited to either the retina or the screen by manipulating eye position and object locations. We found clear adaptation in LOC when the object's screen position was fixed, regardless of the object's retinal position. Furthermore, we found significantly greater activation in LOC in the hemisphere contralateral to the object's screen position, although the visual task was constructed in a way that the objects were present equally often on each of the 2 retinal hemifields. Together, these results indicate that a sizeable fraction of the neurons in LOC may have head-based receptive fields. Such an extraretinal representation may be useful for maintenance of object coherence across saccadic eye movements, which are an integral part of natural vision.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1164-1172
Number of pages9
JournalCerebral Cortex
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank L. Daeuell, I. Rasmussen, I. Rabinowitch, and S. Geva for insightful comments. We also thank T. Orlov for the help with the 3D-cortex reconstruction and S. Lein for help with stimuli preparation. This study was funded by the Israel Science Foundation of the Israel Academy of Sciences grant #8009. Conflict of Interest: None declared. Address correspondence to email:


  • Coordinate transformation
  • Egocentric
  • Object recognition
  • Vision
  • fMRI


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