Holistic perception of individual faces in the right middle fusiform gyrus as evidenced by the composite face illusion.

C. Schiltz, L. Dricot, R. Goebel, Bruno Rossion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The perception of a facial feature (e.g., the eyes) is influenced by the position and identity of other features (e.g., the mouth) supporting an integrated, or holistic, representation of individual faces in the human brain. Here we used an event-related adaptation paradigm in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to clarify the regions representing faces holistically across the whole brain. In each trial, observers performed the same/different task on top halves (aligned or misaligned) of two faces presented sequentially. For each face pair, the identity of top and bottom parts could be both identical, both different, or different only for the bottom half. The latter manipulation resulted in a composite face illusion, i.e., the erroneous perception of identical top parts as being different, only for aligned faces. Release from adaptation in this condition was found in two sub-areas of the right middle fusiform gyrus responding preferentially to faces, including the "fusiform face area" ("FFA"). There were no significant effects in homologous regions of the left hemisphere or in the inferior occipital cortex. Altogether, these observations indicate that face-sensitive populations of neurons in the right middle fusiform gyrus are optimally tuned to represent individual exemplars of faces holistically.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25
Pages (from-to)25.1-25.16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • ACQUIRED PROSOPAGNOSIA
  • FMRI ADAPTATION
  • FUNCTIONAL NEUROANATOMY
  • HUMAN BRAIN
  • HUMAN OCCIPITOTEMPORAL CORTEX
  • HUMAN VISUAL-CORTEX
  • INFEROTEMPORAL CORTEX
  • OBJECT-PROCESSING STAGES
  • SPATIAL RELATIONS
  • UNFAMILIAR FACES
  • composite face illusion
  • fMRI
  • face perception
  • fusiform gyrus
  • holistic perception
  • visual system

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