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Jiahui Guo, Tirta Susilo, Bradley Duchaine; Decreased activation to faces in lateral occipital cortex in acquired prosopagnosia. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1204. doi: 10.1167/15.12.1204.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
When face-selective areas are damaged, do other areas involved with visual recognition compensate for the impairment? It has been suggested prosopagnosics process upright faces like objects and that non-face areas such as the lateral occipital cortex (LO) may compensate when face-selective areas are damaged. To address this question, we ran a dynamic functional localizer with acquired prosopagnosia patients who had right posterior lesions. LO was defined as regions with a stronger response to objects than scrambled objects. Responses to objects and scrambled objects in LO for the patients and controls were comparable, but surprisingly, responses to faces were lower in the patients. We also analyzed whether spared face-selective areas in the patients showed heightened responses to faces. Face-selective areas were defined as regions that showed a stronger response to faces than objects. Across fusiform face area, occipital face area, and the face-selective region of posterior superior temporal sulcus, we found no differences between patients and controls. Our results do not support the notion that acquired prosopagnosics process faces in a more object-like manner. Instead our results raise the question of whether regions that are not face-selective are less engaged by faces in acquired prosopagnosia.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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