Article

Role of fusiform and anterior temporal cortical areas in facial recognition

Athinioula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th St., Charlestown, MA 02129, USA. Electronic address: .
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.13). 08/2012; 63(3):1743-53. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.08.031
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recent fMRI studies suggest that cortical face processing extends well beyond the fusiform face area (FFA), including unspecified portions of the anterior temporal lobe. However, the exact location of such anterior temporal region(s), and their role during active face recognition, remain unclear. Here we demonstrate that (in addition to FFA) a small bilateral site in the anterior tip of the collateral sulcus ('AT'; the anterior temporal face patch) is selectively activated during recognition of faces but not houses (a non-face object). In contrast to the psychophysical prediction that inverted and contrast reversed faces are processed like other non-face objects, both FFA and AT (but not other visual areas) were also activated during recognition of inverted and contrast reversed faces. However, response accuracy was better correlated to recognition-driven activity in AT, compared to FFA. These data support a segregated, hierarchical model of face recognition processing, extending to the anterior temporal cortex.

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