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Anatomical Connections of the Functionally Defined “Face Patches” in the Macaque Monkey

Grimaldi, Piercesare and Saleem, Kadharbatcha S. and Tsao, Doris Y. (2016) Anatomical Connections of the Functionally Defined “Face Patches” in the Macaque Monkey. Neuron, 90 (6). pp. 1325-1342. ISSN 0896-6273. PMCID PMC5573145. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.009.

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The neural circuits underlying face recognition provide a model for understanding visual object representation, social cognition, and hierarchical information processing. A fundamental piece of information lacking to date is the detailed anatomical connections of the face patches. Here, we injected retrograde tracers into four different face patches (PL, ML, AL, AM) to characterize their anatomical connectivity. We found that the patches are strongly and specifically connected to each other, and individual patches receive inputs from extrastriate cortex, the medial temporal lobe, and three subcortical structures (the pulvinar, claustrum, and amygdala). Inputs from prefrontal cortex were surprisingly weak. Patches were densely interconnected to one another in both feedforward and feedback directions, inconsistent with a serial hierarchy. These results provide the first direct anatomical evidence that the face patches constitute a highly specialized system and suggest that subcortical regions may play a vital role in routing face-related information to subsequent processing stages.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Grimaldi, Piercesare0000-0002-2355-831X
Saleem, Kadharbatcha S.0000-0002-4450-9234
Tsao, Doris Y.0000-0003-1083-1919
Alternate Title:Anatomical connections of the functionally-defined “face patches” in the macaque monkey
Additional Information:© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Under an Elsevier user license. Received 2 December 2014, Revised 24 February 2016, Accepted 15 April 2016, Available online 2 June 2016. We thank members of the Tsao lab and the three anonymous reviewers for comments on the manuscript; N. Schweers for technical assistance; and S. Ohayon, P. Bao, and S. Moeller for assistance with data analysis. The work was supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and by the NIH (1R01EY019702, P50 MH942581A).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
NIHP50 MH942581A
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC5573145
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160607-152954838
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Piercesare Grimaldi, Kadharbatcha S. Saleem, Doris Tsao, Anatomical Connections of the Functionally Defined “Face Patches” in the Macaque Monkey, Neuron, Volume 90, Issue 6, 15 June 2016, Pages 1325-1342, ISSN 0896-6273,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67756
Deposited On:08 Jun 2016 00:15
Last Modified:26 Apr 2022 19:23

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