fMRI of the face-processing network in the ventral temporal lobe of awake and anesthetized macaques.

Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076, Tübingen, Germany.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 04/2011; 70(2):352-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.02.048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The primate brain features specialized areas devoted to processing of faces, which human imaging studies localized in the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and ventral temporal cortex. Studies in macaque monkeys, in contrast, revealed face selectivity predominantly in the STS. While this discrepancy could result from a true species difference, it may simply be the consequence of technical difficulties in obtaining high-quality MR images from the ventral temporal lobe. By using an optimized fMRI protocol we here report face-selective areas in ventral TE, the parahippocampal cortex, the entorhinal cortex, and the hippocampus of awake macaques, in addition to those already known in the STS. Notably, the face-selective activation of these memory-related areas was observed although the animals were passively viewing and it was preserved even under anesthesia. These results point to similarly extensive cortical networks for face processing in humans and monkeys and highlight potential homologs of the human fusiform face area.

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