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Junqiang Dai, Suzy Scherf; Is there a Bias to Encode Peer Faces in the FFA?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):1087. doi: 10.1167/18.10.1087.
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Our work indicates that emerging adults, individuals ages 18-25 years, have a peer bias in their face recognition abilities (Picci & Scherf, 2016). Specifically, they exhibit superior recognition for peer faces compared to faces from other developmental groups. Little is known about how the underlying neural circuitry is organized to support this peer bias. Here, we examined neural activation in emerging adults as they viewed faces from a wide range of developmental groups while they were scanned with fMRI. The face categories included children, early puberty adolescent, late puberty adolescent, emerging adult (i.e, peer), and parent faces. For each participant, we individually defined FFA regions of interest (ROI) bilaterally using each face category contrasted with objects (e.g., child faces – objects, emerging adult faces – objects). We quantified each ROI in terms of the magnitude of response to each category of faces, the number of active voxels, and the locus of activation. We found that the right FFA activation was largest in volume when defined by emerging adult faces than by any other face category. In addition, the emerging adult right FFA region was in a more anterior location compared to the other face defined FFA ROIs, particularly in comparison to the child-face defined FFA. Finally, each of the face category defined FFA ROIs exhibited a unique profile of activation, which suggest that the bilateral fusiform gyri appear to encode information about the developmental stage of a face in separate, but overlapping, patches of tissue. In sum, the findings suggest that the peer bias in emerging adult face recognition behavior may be subserved by disproportionally larger activation of neural tissue located in an anterior part of the FFA (but not FFA2) compared to that elicited by other kinds of faces.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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