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Professor Ichiro Fujita, Ph.D. +81-6-6850-6510
Associate Prof. Hiroshi Tamura, Ph.D. +81-6-6850-6538
Assistant Prof. Hiroyuki Yoneshima, MD, Ph.D. +81-6-6850-6512

FAX +81-6-6850-6379
Postal Mail Address Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience, Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University
1-3 Machikaneyama, Toyonaka, Osaka 560-8531, Japan
Maps/Tansportation http://www.fbs.osaka-u.ac.jp/jp/maps/toyonaka-maps.html
Lab Web Site http://www2.bpe.es.osaka-u.ac.jp/index_e.html

We study the neural mechanisms underlying visual perception and recognition. Look around, and you will notice the visual diversity of objects that surround you. You can idenify all of them without a problem. If we stop to consider the following for a moment, we can understand how truly remarkable our visual system is.
No retinal image can ever be reproduced exactly, because our visual world is forever changing, from moment to moment. Retinal images change owing to many factors including changes in illumination and vantage point, or motion and articulation of objects. An object you look at may even be partially occluded by another object in front of it. The retinal image also lacks a large part of information along the depth direction. It is a 2-dimensional image, whereas the real and perceived world is 3-dimensional! The retinal image is thus changing, unpredictable, and imperfect in many ways, and yet based on visual information conveyed by the retina, our brain is able to perceive and recognize objects, people, and scenes.

We have focused our attention on a particular visual pathway in the cerebral cortex, namely, the "ventral visual pathway", which is responsible for object recognition. As the name indicates, this pathway projects ventrally from the primary visual cortex to the inferior temporal cortex (IT) via several relays. We are interested in how the visual information from objects is processed along this pathway.

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