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Brad Duchaine, Tirta Susilo, Hua Yang; Normal body perception without the right fusiform body area. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):675. doi: 10.1167/13.9.675.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Neuroimaging studies have identified sets of cortical regions in the occipital and temporal lobes that respond much more strongly when people view particular categories such as faces, bodies, and places than other categories (Kanwisher, 2010). These areas have attracted extensive research attention, but their roles remain unclear. Here we investigate a basic question about category-selective regions: Does normal perception of a category require the functioning of all regions showing a preferential response to that category? To address this issue, we tested Galen, a 30-year-old right-handed male physician who had surgery eight years ago to remove an arteriovenous malformation in his right occipito-temporal cortex. Galen has no right fusiform body area but his other body-selective regions remain intact. To our surprise, Galen showed normal performance with all aspects of body perception tested including body detection, body shape matching, body pose matching, and body sex discrimination. Our finding demonstrates that perception of multiple aspects of a category can be normal despite the loss of a region that responds preferentially to that category.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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