Our use of tools is situated in different contexts. Prior evidence suggests that diverse regions within the ventral and dorsal streams represent information supporting common tool use. However, given the flexibility of object concepts, these regions may be tuned to different types of information when generating novel or uncommon uses of tools. To investigate this, we collected fMRI data from participants who reported common or uncommon tool uses in response to visually presented familiar objects. We performed a pattern dissimilarity analysis in which we correlated cortical patterns with behavioral measures of visual, action, and category information. The results showed that evoked cortical patterns within the dorsal tool use network reflected action and visual information to a greater extent in the uncommon use group, whereas evoked neural patterns within the ventral tool use network reflected categorical information more strongly in the common use group. These results reveal the flexibility of cortical representations of tool use and the situated nature of cortical representations more generally.

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