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Intersubject Synchronization of Cortical Activity during Natural Vision
Uri Hasson, Yuval Nir, Ifat Levy, Galit Fuhrmann and Rafael Malach
New Series, Vol. 303, No. 5664 (Mar. 12, 2004), pp. 1634-1640
Published by: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3836448
Page Count: 7
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To what extent do all brains work alike during natural conditions? We explored this question by letting five subjects freely view half an hour of a popular movie while undergoing functional brain imaging. Applying an unbiased analysis in which spatiotemporal activity patterns in one brain were used to "model" activity in another brain, we found a striking level of voxel-by-voxel synchronization between individuals, not only in primary and secondary visual and auditory areas but also in association cortices. The results reveal a surprising tendency of individual brains to "tick collectively" during natural vision. The intersubject synchronization consisted of a widespread cortical activation pattern correlated with emotionally arousing scenes and regionally selective components. The characteristics of these activations were revealed with the use of an open-ended "reverse-correlation" approach, which inverts the conventional analysis by letting the brain signals themselves "pick up" the optimal stimuli for each specialized cortical area.
Science © 2004 American Association for the Advancement of Science