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The neuropsychology of face perception: beyond simple dissociations and functional selectivity

Atkinson, Anthony P. and Adolphs, Ralph (2011) The neuropsychology of face perception: beyond simple dissociations and functional selectivity. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 366 (1571). pp. 1726-1738. ISSN 0962-8436. PMCID PMC3130374.

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Face processing relies on a distributed, patchy network of cortical regions in the temporal and frontal lobes that respond disproportionately to face stimuli, other cortical regions that are not even primarily visual (such as somatosensory cortex), and subcortical structures such as the amygdala. Higher-level face perception abilities, such as judging identity, emotion and trustworthiness, appear to rely on an intact face-processing network that includes the occipital face area (OFA), whereas lower-level face categorization abilities, such as discriminating faces from objects, can be achieved without OFA, perhaps via the direct connections to the fusiform face area (FFA) from several extrastriate cortical areas. Some lesion, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) findings argue against a strict feed-forward hierarchical model of face perception, in which the OFA is the principal and common source of input for other visual and non-visual cortical regions involved in face perception, including the FFA, face-selective superior temporal sulcus and somatosensory cortex. Instead, these findings point to a more interactive model in which higher-level face perception abilities depend on the interplay between several functionally and anatomically distinct neural regions. Furthermore, the nature of these interactions may depend on the particular demands of the task. We review the lesion and TMS literature on this topic and highlight the dynamic and distributed nature of face processing.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Adolphs, Ralph0000-0002-8053-9692
Additional Information:© 2011 The Royal Society. This is one article from the Theme issue 'Face perception: social, neuropsychological and comparative perspectives' compiled and edited by Anthony C. Little, Benedict C. Jones and Lisa M. DeBruine.
Subject Keywords:faces; lesion studies; transcranial magnetic stimulation; fusiform face area
Issue or Number:1571
PubMed Central ID:PMC3130374
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110518-090154926
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Official Citation:Anthony P. Atkinson and Ralph Adolphs The neuropsychology of face perception: beyond simple dissociations and functional selectivity Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B June 12, 2011 366:1726-1738; doi:10.1098/rstb.2010.0349
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23704
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 May 2011 16:25
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:49

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