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Faces and eyes in human lateral prefrontal cortex.

Chan AW, Downing PE - Front Hum Neurosci (2011)

Bottom Line: Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain.We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories.We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Bangor University Gwynedd, UK.

ABSTRACT
Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain. However, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have identified face responses in the prefrontal cortex. Here we used fMRI to characterize these responses in the human prefrontal cortex compared with face selectivity in posterior ventral region. We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories. We find that the rIFJ and the right fusiform face area (rFFA) are broadly similar in their responses to whole faces, headless bodies, tools, and scenes. Strikingly, however, while the rFFA preferentially responds to the whole face, the rIFJ response to faces appears to be driven primarily by the eyes. This dissociation provides clues to the functional role of the rIFJ face response. We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Results of Experiment 2. Responses of rFFA and rIFJ, based on independent functional localizers, to flowers, whole faces, eyes, and faces with eyes masked. Conventions as in Figure 2. Asterisks indicate significant differences between conditions: *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.
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Figure 3: Results of Experiment 2. Responses of rFFA and rIFJ, based on independent functional localizers, to flowers, whole faces, eyes, and faces with eyes masked. Conventions as in Figure 2. Asterisks indicate significant differences between conditions: *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.

Mentions: A significant rFFA activation was found in seven out of nine participants, and robust rIFJ activation was found in eight out of nine participants. ROI and statistical analyses were conducted on the seven participants with robust activation in both rFFA and rIFJ. The mean Talairach coordinates (with SD) of the peak location of the ROIs across participants were: rIFJ [43(7), 1(7), 41(12)]; rFFA [40(3), −47(8), −20(9)]. Data from these ROIs were assessed with a within-subjects repeated-measures ANOVA, with ROI and stimulus type as factors (Figure 3; also see the mean time courses in Figure 4).


Faces and eyes in human lateral prefrontal cortex.

Chan AW, Downing PE - Front Hum Neurosci (2011)

Results of Experiment 2. Responses of rFFA and rIFJ, based on independent functional localizers, to flowers, whole faces, eyes, and faces with eyes masked. Conventions as in Figure 2. Asterisks indicate significant differences between conditions: *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3108382&req=5

Figure 3: Results of Experiment 2. Responses of rFFA and rIFJ, based on independent functional localizers, to flowers, whole faces, eyes, and faces with eyes masked. Conventions as in Figure 2. Asterisks indicate significant differences between conditions: *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.
Mentions: A significant rFFA activation was found in seven out of nine participants, and robust rIFJ activation was found in eight out of nine participants. ROI and statistical analyses were conducted on the seven participants with robust activation in both rFFA and rIFJ. The mean Talairach coordinates (with SD) of the peak location of the ROIs across participants were: rIFJ [43(7), 1(7), 41(12)]; rFFA [40(3), −47(8), −20(9)]. Data from these ROIs were assessed with a within-subjects repeated-measures ANOVA, with ROI and stimulus type as factors (Figure 3; also see the mean time courses in Figure 4).

Bottom Line: Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain.We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories.We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychology, Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Bangor University Gwynedd, UK.

ABSTRACT
Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain. However, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have identified face responses in the prefrontal cortex. Here we used fMRI to characterize these responses in the human prefrontal cortex compared with face selectivity in posterior ventral region. We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories. We find that the rIFJ and the right fusiform face area (rFFA) are broadly similar in their responses to whole faces, headless bodies, tools, and scenes. Strikingly, however, while the rFFA preferentially responds to the whole face, the rIFJ response to faces appears to be driven primarily by the eyes. This dissociation provides clues to the functional role of the rIFJ face response. We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus