The complexity of sensory stimuli has an important role in perception and cognition. However, its neural representation is not well understood. Here, we characterize the representations of naturalistic visual and auditory stimulus complexity in early and associative visual and auditory cortices. This is realized by means of encoding and decoding analyses of two fMRI datasets in the visual and auditory modalities. Our results implicate most early and some associative sensory areas in representing the complexity of naturalistic sensory stimuli. For example, parahippocampal place area, which was previously shown to represent scene features, is shown to also represent scene complexity. Similarly, posterior regions of superior temporal gyrus and superior temporal sulcus, which were previously shown to represent syntactic (language) complexity, are shown to also represent music (auditory) complexity. Furthermore, our results suggest the existence of gradients in sensitivity to naturalistic sensory stimulus complexity in these areas.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 21, 2018
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