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Research
Prof. Christian Wallraven`s paper accepted in Cerebral Cortex
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Prof. Christian Wallraven`s new research on `Visual and Haptic Shape Processing in the Human Brain – Unisensory Processing, Multisensory Convergence, and Top-down Influences` was accepted in Cerebral Cortex.

Title: Visual and Haptic Shape Processing in the Human Brain – Unisensory Processing, Multisensory Convergence, and Top-down Influences 

Abstract: 
Humans are highly adept at multisensory processing of object shape in both vision and touch. Previous studies have mostly focused on where visually-perceived object shape information can be decoded, with haptic shape processing receiving less attention. Here, we investigate visuo-haptic shape processing in the human brain using multi-voxel correlation analyses.  Importantly, we use tangible, parametrically-defined novel objects as stimuli. Two groups of participants first performed either a visual or haptic similarity-judgment task. The resulting perceptual object-shape spaces were highly similar and matched the physical parameter space. In a subsequent fMRI experiment, objects were first compared within the learned modality and then in the other modality in a one-back task. When correlating neural similarity spaces with perceptual spaces, visually-perceived shape was decoded well in the occipital lobe along with ventral pathway, whereas haptically-perceived shape information was mainly found in the parietal lobe, including frontal cortex. Interestingly, ventrolateral occipito-temporal cortex decoded shape in both modalities, highlighting this as an area capable of detailed visuo-haptic shape processing. Finally, we found haptic shape representations in early visual cortex (in the absence of visual input), when participants switched from visual to haptic exploration, suggesting top-down involvement of visual imagery on haptic shape processing. 

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