December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Dynamic, naturalistic faces embedded in a narrative elicit responses in the distributed face processing system
Author Affiliations
  • Vassiki Chauhan
    Dartmouth College
  • Rebecca Philip
    Dartmouth College
  • Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello
    University of California Berkeley
  • Guo Jiahui
    Dartmouth College
  • Ma Feilong
    Dartmouth College
  • Tom Dupré la Tour
    University of California Berkeley
  • James Haxby
    Dartmouth College
  • Maria Ida Gobbini
    Dartmouth College
    University of Bologna
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 4386. doi:
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      Vassiki Chauhan, Rebecca Philip, Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello, Guo Jiahui, Ma Feilong, Tom Dupré la Tour, James Haxby, Maria Ida Gobbini; Dynamic, naturalistic faces embedded in a narrative elicit responses in the distributed face processing system. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):4386.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Studies of face perception often involve the use of highly controlled stimuli, which are visually impoverished in contrast to the faces we encounter in the real world. Additionally, studies of face processing often involve the presentation of faces in isolation, deprived of the context of social interactions in which facial identities are most often embedded. Here, we leverage naturalistic stimuli to overcome the limitations of traditional functional face localizers used in the neuroimaging studies of face perception. We tested the relative importance of visual motion and social content of an audiovisual movie in eliciting responses in early visual areas, ventral temporal cortex, anterior temporal lobe, superior temporal sulcus and inferior frontal gyrus. These areas are identified as relevant for social perception on the basis of investigations of face perception. We used banded ridge regression to partition responses to visual motion and socially relevant information, namely the presence of faces. We hyperaligned the data to increase the overlap in cortical topography across brains. Results clearly and reliably identified motion-responsive functional topography in lateral occipitotemporal cortex and face-responsive functional topography in occipital cortex, posterior and anterior temporal cortices in both the ventral and superior pathways, and inferior frontal cortex. This approach opens up the possibility of using audiovisual movies that are rich in narrative content for studying social perception of faces embedded in a narrative context and shows that these naturalistic stimuli can be used as a functional localizer without resorting to tailored stimuli to elicit responses in targeted cortical clusters.


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