Article

The Functional Architecture of the Face System: integrating Evidence from fMRI and Patient Studies

Nancy Kanwisher and Jason J.S. Barton

in Oxford Handbook of Face Perception

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199559053
Published online November 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199559053.013.0007

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The Functional Architecture of the Face System: integrating Evidence from fMRI and Patient Studies

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This article examines the functions performed by each of the “core” face processing regions: the fusiform face area (FFA), occipital face area (OFA), and superior temporal sulcus (fSTS). It reviews the data from two complementary sources: functional imaging in healthy subjects and behavioral data from neurological subjects with damage to these regions. Data from functional neuroimaging allows for the determination of which regions are specifically engaged by which stimuli and which tasks; functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) adaptation and pattern classification methods even allow for the characterisation of the representations extracted in each. However, fMRI can only tell that a given region is sensitive to a particular stimulus property. fMRI cannot depict if the processing requires perceiving that property occurs in that area. In contrast, lesion data can answer the crucial question of whether a given brain region is necessary for a given computation.

Keywords: face processing; functional imaging; fusiform face area; occipital face area; superior temporal sulcus

Article.  11680 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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