9.71 Functional MRI of High-Level Vision

Fall 2004

Comparison of sample fMRI scans of the brains of subjects.

Comparison of sample fMRI scans of the brains of subjects looking at faces versus objects (top), and faces versus houses (bottom). (Image courtesy of Kanwisher Laboratory, MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. Used with permission.)

Course Description

Fundamental questions about the human brain can now be answered using straightforward applications of fMRI. This is particularly true in the area of high-level vision, the study of how we interpret and use visual information (including object recognition, visual attention, perceptual awareness, visually guided action, visual memory, and other topics). Students will read, present to the class, and critique current neuroimaging articles, as well as write detailed proposals for experiments of their own.

This course covers the basics of fMRI, the strengths and limitations of fMRI compared to other techniques, and the design and analysis of fMRI experiments, focusing primarily on experiments on high-level vision. Upon completion, students should be able to understand and critique published fMRI papers, have a good grasp on what is known about high-level vision from fMRI, and design their own fMRI experiments.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Prof. Nancy Kanwisher

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
3 hours / session




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