Dissociable roles of the anterior temporal regions in successful encoding of memory for person identity information.
ABSTRACT Memory for person identity information consists of three main components: face-related information, name-related information, and person-related semantic information, such as the person's job title. Although previous studies have demonstrated the importance of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) in the retrieval of associations between these kinds of information, there is no evidence concerning whether the ATL region contributes to the encoding of this memory, and whether ATL roles are dissociable between different levels of association in this memory. Using fMRI, we investigated dissociable roles within the ATL during successful encoding of this memory. During encoding, participants viewed unfamiliar faces, each paired with a job title and name. During retrieval, each learned face was presented with two job titles or two names, and participants were required to choose the correct job title or name. Successful encoding conditions were categorized by subsequent retrieval conditions: successful encoding of names and job titles (HNJ), names (HN), and job titles (HJ). The study yielded three main findings. First, the dorsal ATL showed greater activations in HNJ than in HN or HJ. Second, ventral ATL activity was greater in HNJ and HJ than in HN. Third, functional connectivity between these regions was significant during successful encoding. The results are the first to demonstrate that the dorsal and ventral ATL roles are dissociable between two steps of association, associations of person-related semantics with name and with face, and a dorsal-ventral ATL interaction predicts subsequent retrieval success of memory for person identity information.
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ABSTRACT: Extensive research has supported the existence of a specialized face-processing network that is distinct from the visual processing areas used for general object recognition. The majority of this work has been aimed at characterizing the response properties of the fusiform face area (FFA) and the occipital face area (OFA), which together are thought to constitute the core network of brain areas responsible for facial identification. Although accruing evidence has shown that face-selective patches in the ventral anterior temporal lobes (vATLs) are interconnected with the FFA and OFA, and that they play a role in facial identification, the relative contribution of these brain areas to the core face-processing network has remained unarticulated. Here we review recent research critically implicating the vATLs in face perception and memory. We propose that current models of face processing should be revised such that the ventral anterior temporal lobes serve a centralized role in the visual face-processing network. We speculate that a hierarchically organized system of face processing areas extends bilaterally from the inferior occipital gyri to the vATLs, with facial representations becoming increasingly complex and abstracted from low-level perceptual features as they move forward along this network. The anterior temporal face areas may serve as the apex of this hierarchy, instantiating the final stages of face recognition. We further argue that the anterior temporal face areas are ideally suited to serve as an interface between face perception and face memory, linking perceptual representations of individual identity with person-specific semantic knowledge.Neuropsychologia 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.06.005 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In this paper we argue that in recent literature on mechanistic explanations, authors tend to conflate two distinct features that mechanistic models can have or fail to have: plausibility and richness. By plausibility, we mean the probability that a model is correct in the assertions it makes regarding the parts and operations of the mechanism, i.e., that the model is correct as a description of the actual mechanism. By richness, we mean the amount of detail the model gives about the actual mechanism. First, we argue that there is at least a conceptual reason to keep these two features distinct, since they can vary independently from each other: models can be highly plausible while providing almost no details, while they can also be highly detailed but plainly wrong. Next, focusing on Craver's continuum of “how-possibly,” to “how-plausibly,” to “how-actually” models, we argue that the conflation of plausibility and richness is harmful to the discussion because it leads to the view that both are necessary for a model to have explanatory power, while in fact, richness is only so with respect to a mechanism's activities, not its entities. This point is illustrated with two examples of functional models.Philosophical Psychology 02/2013; 26(1). DOI:10.1080/09515089.2011.633693 · 0.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We meta-analyzed imaging studies on theory of mind and formed individual task groups based on stimuli and instructions. Overlap in brain activation between all task groups was found in the mPFC and in the bilateral posterior TPJ. This supports the idea of a core network for theory of mind that is activated whenever we are reasoning about mental states, irrespective of the task- and stimulus-formats (Mar, 2011). In addition, we found a number of task-related activation differences surrounding this core-network. ROI based analyses show that areas in the TPJ, the mPFC, the precuneus, the temporal lobes and the inferior frontal gyri have distinct profiles of task-related activation. Functional accounts of these areas are reviewed and discussed with respect to our findings.Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 05/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.01.009 · 10.28 Impact Factor