Have you ever wondered how the brain makes sense of the thousands of images that it receives through the eye every second of every day? Well, new research published this month in the journal 'Neuron,' shows that the brain is wired to categorize all images and objects that it receives. The authors of this study have in fact created an interactive map of the brain that details the regions of the brain that accumulate similar images.
Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), the researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, (lead researcher Alexander Huth), were able to take 1700 image categories that were presented to subjects while undergoing fMRI, and place these categories in the roughly 30,000 locations in the cortex of the brain. Categories that activate the same brain areas were given similar colors. For example, humans are green, animals are yellow, vehicles are pink and violet and buildings are blue.
This process resulted in a multicolored, multidimensional map showing the more than 1,700 visual categories and their relationships to one another.
If you want to see what these maps look like, and find out more about this study, I suggest you watch this video by Alexander Huth. It is quite fascinating.