I Know It's Right Along Here...

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Science  28 Jan 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5453, pp. 545
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5453.545h

Searching for a familiar book in one's library evokes a variety of neural responses in the brain. Jiang et al. (p. 643) show that the early stages of visual processing are activated less and less as one scans across bookshelves because the same type of visual scene is treated as a repetitive and familiar stimulus. However, frontal cortex areas that subserve working memory display an enhanced activity, which serves as a marker of top-down specification of a particular and precise visual pattern. Taken together, these changes make it possible to ignore irrelevant, distractor books and to recognize the target book efficiently.

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