The dynamic contribution of the high-level visual cortex to imagery and perception

Maddalena Boccia, Valentina Sulpizio, Alice Teghil, Liana Palermo, Laura Piccardi, Gaspare Galati, Cecilia Guariglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mental imagery and visual perception rely on the same content-dependent brain areas in the high-level visual cortex (HVC). However, little is known about dynamic mechanisms in these areas during imagery and perception. Here we disentangled local and inter-regional dynamic mechanisms underlying imagery and perception in the HVC and the hippocampus (HC), a key region for memory retrieval during imagery. Nineteen healthy participants watched or imagined a familiar scene or face during fMRI acquisition. The neural code for familiar landmarks and faces was distributed across the HVC and the HC, although with a different representational structure, and generalized across imagery and perception. However, different regional adaptation effects and inter-regional functional couplings were detected for faces and landmarks during imagery and perception. The left PPA showed opposite adaptation effects, with activity suppression following repeated observation of landmarks, but enhancement following repeated imagery of landmarks. Also, functional coupling between content-dependent brain areas of the HVC and HC changed as a function of task and content. These findings provide important information about the dynamic networks underlying imagery and perception in the HVC and shed some light upon the thin line between imagery and perception which has characterized the neuropsychological debates on mental imagery.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • carry-over effect
  • functional connectivity
  • imagery
  • mental images
  • multivariate pattern analysis
  • perception
  • places
  • psychophysiological interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'The dynamic contribution of the high-level visual cortex to imagery and perception'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this