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Diagnostic information

Human cognition is extremely flexible and despite the automatic processing of low level features from stimuli, we can pick up the diagnostic information in a flash. Such interaction between stimulus category and task is investigated both for common categories (e.g. faces vs. cars) and linguistic ones. An earlier example of such an interaction was observed in the so called Visual Word form Area where we show a selective response for Latin letter (Pernet et al., (2005, 28, 738), that is, this area does respond differently to letters compared to known and unknown feature matched stimuli but only when access to their representation is required..

Example of category x task interaction: while discriminating between Latin lettersm geometrical forms or Korean characters elicits the same amount of BOLD signal, categorizing those items lead to significantly less signal for Latin letters than the other 2 categories.