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The Human Posterior Superior Temporal Sulcus Samples Visual Space Differently From Other Face-Selective Regions

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JournalCerebral Cortex
DateAccepted/In press - 20 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 2 Jul 2019
Issue number2
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)778-785
Original languageEnglish


Neuroimaging studies show that ventral face-selective regions, including the fusiform face area (FFA) and occipital face area (OFA), preferentially respond to faces presented in the contralateral visual field (VF). In the current study we measured the VF response of the face-selective posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). Across 3 functional magnetic resonance imaging experiments, participants viewed face videos presented in different parts of the VF. Consistent with prior results, we observed a contralateral VF bias in bilateral FFA, right OFA (rOFA), and bilateral human motion-selective area MT+. Intriguingly, this contralateral VF bias was absent in the bilateral pSTS. We then delivered transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over right pSTS (rpSTS) and rOFA, while participants matched facial expressions in both hemifields. TMS delivered over the rpSTS disrupted performance in both hemifields, but TMS delivered over the rOFA disrupted performance in the contralateral hemifield only. These converging results demonstrate that the contralateral bias for faces observed in ventral face-selective areas is absent in the pSTS. This difference in VF response is consistent with face processing models proposing 2 functionally distinct pathways. It further suggests that these models should account for differences in interhemispheric connections between the face-selective areas across these 2 pathways.

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© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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