Article

The role of the occipital face area in the cortical face perception network

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, Alexandra House, London, WC1N 3AR, UK.
Experimental Brain Research (Impact Factor: 2.17). 02/2011; 209(4):481-93. DOI: 10.1007/s00221-011-2579-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have identified spatially distinct face-selective regions in human cortex. These regions have been linked together to form the components of a cortical network specialized for face perception but the cognitive operations performed in each region are not well understood. In this paper, we review the evidence concerning one of these face-selective regions, the occipital face area (OFA), to better understand what cognitive operations it performs in the face perception network. Neuropsychological evidence and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies demonstrate the OFA is necessary for accurate face perception. fMRI and TMS studies investigating the functional role of the OFA suggest that it preferentially represents the parts of a face, including the eyes, nose, and mouth and that it does so at an early stage of visual perception. These studies are consistent with the hypothesis that the OFA is the first stage in a hierarchical face perception network in which the OFA represents facial components prior to subsequent processing of increasingly complex facial features in higher face-selective cortical regions.

Full-text

Available from: Vincent Walsh, May 24, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
141 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recognition of human faces is a highly complex process. The morpho-logic and functional basis of this process are just about to be revealed. The basic neuroanatomic structures of facial recognition are namely the Fusiform Face Area (FFA), the Occipital Face Area, as well as the Superior Temporal Sulcus. It seems as the Fusiform Face Area is mainly involved in the recognition of solid facial features, likely contributing to the recognition of identity. The STS seems to evaluate dynamic changes in faces, for example emotions. The OFA is very likely involved in the processing of individual facial features. Faces are processed holisti-cally, leading to the fact that the entire face structure is more than the sum of its components. The individual components are not put together to a whole, but rather the entire Gestalt is perceived. Facial recognition is from an evolutionary point of view quite important, as a healthy phenotype can be detected by the means of a proper facial recognition. The healthy phenotype suggests a healthy genotype, which is more likely to ensures a continued existence than a broken genotype.
    Kosmetische Medizin 12/2014; 6(14).
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Anxious individuals have a greater tendency to categorize faces with ambiguous emotional expressions as fearful (Richards et al., 2002). These behavioral findings might reflect anxiety-related biases in stimulus representation within the human amygdala. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) together with a continuous adaptation design to investigate the representation of faces from three expression continua (surprise-fear, sadness-fear, and surprise-sadness) within the amygdala and other brain regions implicated in face processing. Fifty-four healthy adult participants completed a face expression categorization task. Nineteen of these participants also viewed the same expressions presented using type 1 index 1 sequences while fMRI data were acquired. Behavioral analyses revealed an anxiety-related categorization bias in the surprise-fear continuum alone. Here, elevated anxiety was associated with a more rapid transition from surprise to fear responses as a function of percentage fear in the face presented, leading to increased fear categorizations for faces with a mid-way blend of surprise and fear. fMRI analyses revealed that high trait anxious participants also showed greater representational similarity, as indexed by greater adaptation of the Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) signal, between 50/50 surprise/fear expression blends and faces from the fear end of the surprise-fear continuum in both the right amygdala and right fusiform face area (FFA). No equivalent biases were observed for the other expression continua. These findings suggest that anxiety-related biases in the processing of expressions intermediate between surprise and fear may be linked to differential representation of these stimuli in the amygdala and FFA. The absence of anxiety-related biases for the sad-fear continuum might reflect intermediate expressions from the surprise-fear continuum being most ambiguous in threat-relevance.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2015; 9:152. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00152 · 2.90 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Vision 08/2012; 12(9):784-784. DOI:10.1167/12.9.784 · 2.73 Impact Factor