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Published August 17, 2003 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Faces and objects in macaque cerebral cortex


How are different object categories organized by the visual system? Current evidence indicates that monkeys and humans process object categories in fundamentally different ways. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies suggest that humans have a ventral temporal face area, but such evidence is lacking in macaques. Instead, face-responsive neurons in macaques seem to be scattered throughout temporal cortex, with some relative concentration in the superior temporal sulcus (STS). Here, using fMRI in alert fixating macaque monkeys and humans, we found that macaques do have discrete face-selective patches, similar in relative size and number to face patches in humans. The face patches were embedded within a large swath of object-selective cortex extending from V4 to rostral TE. This large region responded better to pictures of intact objects compared to scrambled objects, with different object categories eliciting different patterns of activity, as in the human. Overall, our results suggest that humans and macaques share a similar brain architecture for visual object processing.

Additional Information

© 2003 Nature Publishing Group. Received 31 March; accepted 18 June 2003. We wish to thank R. Desimone, N. Kanwisher, K.S. Saleem, Y. Sasaki, W.Vanduffel and D.C.Van Essen for their comments on the manuscript and valuable discussions. We are also grateful to W. Vanduffel and L. Wald for setting up the monkey fixation system, to D. C. Van Essen for help with using CARET, and to D. Greve for help with using FSFAST. This study was supported by the National Center for Research Resources (P41RR14075), the Mental Illness and Neuroscience Discovery Institute, and grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01 MH67529 A01 and R01 EB00790 A01).

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