September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
The FFA shows a face inversion effect that is correlated with the behavioral face inversion effect
Author Affiliations
  • Galit Yovel
    McGovern Istitute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge MA
  • Nancy Kanwisher
    McGovern Istitute for Brain Research and Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, MIT, Cambridge MA, and MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Charlestown, MA
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 632. doi:10.1167/5.8.632
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      Galit Yovel, Nancy Kanwisher; The FFA shows a face inversion effect that is correlated with the behavioral face inversion effect. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):632. doi: 10.1167/5.8.632.

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Abstract

The behavioral face inversion effect (Behavioral-FIE) is one of the most established markers for specialized face processing. Functional MRI studies testing for a correspondingly reduced signal for inverted compared to upright faces in face selective fusiform areas (FFA-FIE) have reported mixed results. Two studies (Haxby et al., 1999; Aguirre et al., 1999) reported no face inversion effect in the FFA, whereas one study found a significant but a small effect (Kanwisher et al., 1998). Importantly, the studies that found no FFA-FIE did not obtain or did not test for a Behavioral-FIE in accuracy measures. Here we report two experiments that yielded a significant Behavioral-FIE and a reduced signal for inverted relative to upright faces in the FFA (FFA-FIE). Further, this FFA-FIE was correlated with the Behavioral-FIE across subjects in both experiments. In Experiment 1, 14 subjects performed a same-different matching task on upright and inverted faces presented in separate blocks. Our data show a significant reduced signal to inverted than upright faces and a positive correlation between the FFA-FIE and the Behavioral-FIE (r(12)=.56). To examine whether this effect is specific for faces, in Experiment 2, 15 subjects matched upright or inverted faces and chairs in an event-related design. The fMRI response in the FFA and accuracy were higher for upright than inverted stimuli for both faces and chairs. However, the FFA-FIE was correlated with the Behavioral-FIE (r(13)=.45), whereas the behavioral chair inversion effect was not correlated with the fMRI chair inversion effect (r(13)=.16). Our findings suggest a close link between the behavioral and FFA inversion effects for face stimuli only.

Yovel, G. Kanwisher, N. (2005). The FFA shows a face inversion effect that is correlated with the behavioral face inversion effect [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):632, 632a, http://journalofvision.org/5/8/632/, doi:10.1167/5.8.632. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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