Investigating app icon recognition with event-related potentials

Neuroreport. 2023 Jun 7;34(10):521-525. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000001918. Epub 2023 May 20.


In modern society, visual symbols such as logos, icons, and letters have become essential for communication and cognition, playing a crucial role in daily life. This study focuses on app icons, a frequently encountered type of symbol, and aims to investigate the neural mechanisms involved in their recognition. Specifically, our objective is to identify the timing and location of brain activity associated with this process. We presented participants with familiar and unfamiliar app icons and asked them to perform a repetition detection task while recording the event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by these stimuli. Statistical analysis revealed a significant difference in the ERPs between familiar and unfamiliar icons, occurring around 220 ms in the parietooccipital scalp region. The source analysis indicated that this ERP difference originated in the ventral occipitotemporal cortex, specifically the fusiform gyrus. These findings suggest that the recognition of familiar app icons results in the activation of the ventral occipitotemporal cortex approximately 220 ms after exposure. Additionally, our findings, in conjunction with previous research on visual word recognition, suggest that the lexical orthographic processing of visual words is dependent on general visual processing mechanisms that are also involved in the recognition of familiar app icons. In essence, the ventral occipitotemporal cortex likely plays a crucial role in memorizing and recognizing visual symbols and objects, including familiar visual words.

PMID:37270845 | DOI:10.1097/WNR.0000000000001918

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