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Neuroimage. 2001 Oct;14(4):873-82.

Association of the distinct visual representations of faces and names: a PET activation study.

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  • 1Unité de Neuropsychologie Cognitive (NECO), Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.


A PET study of seven normal individuals was carried out to investigate the neural populations involved in the retrieval of the visual representation of a face when presented with an associated name, and conversely. Face-name associations were studied by means of four experimental matching conditions, including the retrieval of previously learned (1) name-name (NN), (2) face-face (FF), (3) name-face (NF), and (4) face-name (FN) associations, as well as a resting scan with eyes closed. Before PET images acquisition, subjects were presented with 24 unknown face-name associations to encode in 12 male/female couples. During PET scanning, their task was to decide whether the presented pair was a previously learned association. The right fusiform gyrus was strongly activated in FF condition as compared to NN and Rest conditions. However, no specific activations were found for NN condition relative to FF condition. A network of three areas distributed in the left hemisphere, both active in (NF-FF) and (FN-NN) comparisons, was interpreted as the locus of the integration of visual faces and names representations. These three regions were localized in the inferior frontal gyrus (BA 45), the medial frontal gyrus (BA 6) and the supramarginal gyrus of the inferior parietal lobe (BA 40). An interactive model accounting for these results, with BA 40 seen as an amodal binding region, is proposed.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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