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Dissociable pathways for moving and static face perception begin in early visual cortex: evidence from an acquired prosopagnosic

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JournalCortex; a journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior
DateAccepted/In press - 13 Mar 2020
DatePublished (current) - 3 Jul 2020
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)327-339
Original languageEnglish


To investigate the functional connections between the core components of the face processing network we tested Herschel, an acquired prosopagnosic patient with a right ventral occipitotemporal lesion. In Experiment 1, Herschel, and control participants, were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while viewing videos of moving faces, or static images taken from the videos. In Experiment 2, participants viewed videos of actors making facial expressions, or static images taken from the videos. In Experiment 3, participants viewed videos of moving faces presented in the left or right visual field. Results showed the neural response in Herschel’s right occipital face area (OFA) was impaired for moving and static faces (Experiment 1), moving expressions (Experiment 2) and moving faces in the left visual field (Experiment 3). The response in Herschel’s right fusiform face area (FFA) to moving and static faces was impaired in Experiment 1 only, in Experiments 2 and 3 Herschel’s FFA response was not significantly different from controls. By contrast, the response in Herschel’s right posterior superior temporal sulcus (rpSTS) to moving and static faces and expressions (Experiments 1 and 2) and the visual field response (Experiment 3) was not significantly different from control participants. Our results demonstrate there are cortico-cortical inputs to the pSTS from early visual cortex that are independent of the OFA, a conclusion inconsistent with established models of face processing.

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