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Expertise reduces neural cost but does not modulate repetition suppression

Authors
Journal
Cognitive Neuroscience
1758-8928
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17588928.2010.525628
Keywords
  • Research Article

Abstract

The extent to which repetition suppression is modulated by expertise is currently unknown. We used event-related fMRI to test whether architecture students would respond faster to buildings and would exhibit stronger repetition suppression in the fusiform gyrus (FG) and parahippocampa cortex (PHC) than students from other disciplines. Behaviorally, we found shorter response latencies with target repetition in all subjects. Moreover, the repetition of targets and distracters was associated with decreased neural responses in the FG and PHC in all subjects. In control, but not in architecture students, reaction times during the first repetition of the target were correlated with activation in the cuneus, lingual gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, insula, and anterior cingulate cortex, indicating that the non-experts had to recruit additional regions in order to perform the task. Our findings suggest that due to their expertise, architects were able to encode and detect building stimuli at a lower neural cost.

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