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      Quantifying the internal structure of categories using a neural typicality measure.

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          Abstract

          How categories are represented continues to be hotly debated across neuroscience and psychology. One topic that is central to cognitive research on category representation but underexplored in neurobiological research concerns the internal structure of categories. Internal structure refers to how the natural variability between-category members is coded so that we are able to determine which members are more typical or better examples of their category. Psychological categorization models offer tools for predicting internal structure and suggest that perceptions of typicality arise from similarities between the representations of category members in a psychological space. Inspired by these models, we develop a neural typicality measure that allows us to measure which category members elicit patterns of activation that are similar to other members of their category and are thus more central in a neural space. Using an artificial categorization task, we test how psychological and physical typicality contribute to neural typicality, and find that neural typicality in occipital and temporal regions is significantly correlated with subjects' perceptions of typicality. The results reveal a convergence between psychological and neural category representations and suggest that our neural typicality measure is a useful tool for connecting psychological and neural measures of internal category structure.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Cereb. Cortex
          Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991)
          Oxford University Press (OUP)
          1460-2199
          1047-3211
          Jul 2014
          : 24
          : 7
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Imaging Research Center.
          [2 ] Imaging Research Center, Deparment of Psychology, Center for Learning and Memory and Section of Neurobiology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
          Article
          bht014
          10.1093/cercor/bht014
          23442348
          f1e805e6-c431-443c-9708-b918d277e418

          representation,similarity,fMRI,categorization
          representation, similarity, fMRI, categorization

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