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Published July 17, 2013 | Published
Journal Article Open

Faces in Motion: Selectivity of Macaque and Human Face Processing Areas for Dynamic Stimuli


Face recognition mechanisms need to extract information from static and dynamic faces. It has been hypothesized that the analysis of dynamic face attributes is performed by different face areas than the analysis of static facial attributes. To date, there is no evidence for such a division of labor in macaque monkeys. We used fMRI to determine specializations of macaque face areas for motion. Face areas in the fundus of the superior temporal sulcus responded to general object motion; face areas outside of the superior temporal sulcus fundus responded more to facial motion than general object motion. Thus, the macaque face-processing system exhibits regional specialization for facial motion. Human face areas, processing the same stimuli, exhibited specializations for facial motion as well. Yet the spatial patterns of facial motion selectivity differed across species, suggesting that facial dynamics are analyzed differently in humans and macaques.

Additional Information

© 2013 the authors. Received Oct. 26, 2011; revised June 4, 2013; accepted June 10, 2013. Author contributions: D.Y.T. and W.A.F. designed research; P.P., S.M., and N.S. performed research; L.M.R. contributed unpublished reagents/analytic tools; P.P. analyzed data; P.P., D.Y.T., and W.A.F. wrote the paper. This work was supported by the Irma T. Hirschl/Monique Weill-Caulier Trusts, The Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience, Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences, and Alexandrine and Alexander Sinsheimer Fund to W.A.F., and by NIH (Grant 1R01EY019702) to D.Y.T. We thank Shay Ohayon for providing his stimulus presentation program and Sara Steenrod for proofreading the manuscript.

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