Impaired face discrimination in acquired prosopagnosia is associated with abnormal response to individual faces in the right middle fusiform gyrus

C. Schiltz, B. Sorger, R. Caldara, F. Ahmed, E. Mayer, R.W. Goebel, B. Rossion

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Abstract

The middle fusiform gyrus (MFG) and the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG) are activated by both detection and identification of faces. Paradoxically, patients with acquired prosopagnosia following lesions to either of these regions in the right hemisphere cannot identify faces, but can still detect faces. Here we acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data during face processing in a patient presenting a specific deficit in individual face recognition, following lesions encompassing the right IOG. Using an adaptation paradigm we show that the fMRI signal in the rMFG of the patient, while being larger in response to faces as compared to objects, does not differ between conditions presenting identical and distinct faces, in contrast to the larger response to distinct faces observed in controls. These results suggest that individual discrimination of faces critically depends on the integrity of both the rMFG and the rIOG, which may interact through re-entrant cortical connections in the normal brain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-586
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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