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Roger B. Tootell; What's in a face? FMRI studies in humans and macaques.. Journal of Vision 2003;3(12):17. doi: 10.1167/3.12.17.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
How are different object categories organized by the visual system? Current evidence seems to imply that monkeys and humans process object categories in fundamentally different ways. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) suggests that humans have a ventral temporal face area, but such evidence is lacking in macaques. Instead, face-responsive neurons in macaques have been reported to be scattered throughout temporal cortex, with some relative concentration in the superior temporal sulcus (STS).
Here, using fMRI of 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 visual objects are processed in an evolutionarily common architecture in humans and macaques.
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