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Successful decoding of famous faces in the fusiform face area.

Axelrod V, Yovel G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We found that face-identity could be discriminated above chance level only in the fusiform face area.Our results corroborate the role of the fusiform face area in face recognition.Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the more recently discovered anterior face-selective areas in face recognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

ABSTRACT
What are the neural mechanisms of face recognition? It is believed that the network of face-selective areas, which spans the occipital, temporal, and frontal cortices, is important in face recognition. A number of previous studies indeed reported that face identity could be discriminated based on patterns of multivoxel activity in the fusiform face area and the anterior temporal lobe. However, given the difficulty in localizing the face-selective area in the anterior temporal lobe, its role in face recognition is still unknown. Furthermore, previous studies limited their analysis to occipito-temporal regions without testing identity decoding in more anterior face-selective regions, such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In the current high-resolution functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study, we systematically examined the decoding of the identity of famous faces in the temporo-frontal network of face-selective and adjacent non-face-selective regions. A special focus has been put on the face-area in the anterior temporal lobe, which was reliably localized using an optimized scanning protocol. We found that face-identity could be discriminated above chance level only in the fusiform face area. Our results corroborate the role of the fusiform face area in face recognition. Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the more recently discovered anterior face-selective areas in face recognition.

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Face-selective areas of one representative participant (inflated cortex, right hemisphere).(A) Lateral brain view: posterior STS and prefrontal face-selective areas. (B) Ventral brain view: FFA, ATL face-area and amygdala face-selective areas.
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pone.0117126.g001: Face-selective areas of one representative participant (inflated cortex, right hemisphere).(A) Lateral brain view: posterior STS and prefrontal face-selective areas. (B) Ventral brain view: FFA, ATL face-area and amygdala face-selective areas.

Mentions: In the current high-resolution fMRI study, we systematically explored the role of temporo-frontal face-selective regions (FFA, posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS), ATL face-area, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex; Fig. 1) in recognition of famous faces. Participants were presented with 8 different images of each of two famous faces. We conducted Region of Interest (ROI) Univariate and Multivoxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA) [32] to determine the role of face-selective and adjacent non-face areas in discriminating between these two famous identities. A special emphasis was put on the ATL face-area, which was reliably localized using recently proposed scanning optimization [9]. In addition, in contrast to previous identity decoding studies that used unfamiliar faces [11,13,14,19], we used familiar (famous) identities as they 1) are better discriminated behaviorally [33,34]; 2) exhibit enhanced invariant neural face representation (e.g., view-invariance) [35–37]; and 3) are more likely to be discriminated in the ATL, given that the ATL is known to be involved in semantic processing [38].


Successful decoding of famous faces in the fusiform face area.

Axelrod V, Yovel G - PLoS ONE (2015)

Face-selective areas of one representative participant (inflated cortex, right hemisphere).(A) Lateral brain view: posterior STS and prefrontal face-selective areas. (B) Ventral brain view: FFA, ATL face-area and amygdala face-selective areas.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4340964&req=5

pone.0117126.g001: Face-selective areas of one representative participant (inflated cortex, right hemisphere).(A) Lateral brain view: posterior STS and prefrontal face-selective areas. (B) Ventral brain view: FFA, ATL face-area and amygdala face-selective areas.
Mentions: In the current high-resolution fMRI study, we systematically explored the role of temporo-frontal face-selective regions (FFA, posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS), ATL face-area, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex; Fig. 1) in recognition of famous faces. Participants were presented with 8 different images of each of two famous faces. We conducted Region of Interest (ROI) Univariate and Multivoxel Pattern Analysis (MVPA) [32] to determine the role of face-selective and adjacent non-face areas in discriminating between these two famous identities. A special emphasis was put on the ATL face-area, which was reliably localized using recently proposed scanning optimization [9]. In addition, in contrast to previous identity decoding studies that used unfamiliar faces [11,13,14,19], we used familiar (famous) identities as they 1) are better discriminated behaviorally [33,34]; 2) exhibit enhanced invariant neural face representation (e.g., view-invariance) [35–37]; and 3) are more likely to be discriminated in the ATL, given that the ATL is known to be involved in semantic processing [38].

Bottom Line: We found that face-identity could be discriminated above chance level only in the fusiform face area.Our results corroborate the role of the fusiform face area in face recognition.Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the more recently discovered anterior face-selective areas in face recognition.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: School of Psychological Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

ABSTRACT
What are the neural mechanisms of face recognition? It is believed that the network of face-selective areas, which spans the occipital, temporal, and frontal cortices, is important in face recognition. A number of previous studies indeed reported that face identity could be discriminated based on patterns of multivoxel activity in the fusiform face area and the anterior temporal lobe. However, given the difficulty in localizing the face-selective area in the anterior temporal lobe, its role in face recognition is still unknown. Furthermore, previous studies limited their analysis to occipito-temporal regions without testing identity decoding in more anterior face-selective regions, such as the amygdala and prefrontal cortex. In the current high-resolution functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging study, we systematically examined the decoding of the identity of famous faces in the temporo-frontal network of face-selective and adjacent non-face-selective regions. A special focus has been put on the face-area in the anterior temporal lobe, which was reliably localized using an optimized scanning protocol. We found that face-identity could be discriminated above chance level only in the fusiform face area. Our results corroborate the role of the fusiform face area in face recognition. Future studies are needed to further explore the role of the more recently discovered anterior face-selective areas in face recognition.

Show MeSH