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Neuroreport. 2004 Jul 19;15(10):1549-53.

Developmental shifts in cortical loci for face and object recognition.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Chandler Medical Center, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, 800 Rose Street, Davis-Mills 308, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Information on normal functional organization and development of the ventral processing stream in 5- to 11-year-old children is minimal. The present fMRI study identified neural correlates for face and object processing in children aged 5-8 and 9-11 years, with data from a similar adult study used for comparison. All age groups showed face-preferential activation in the ventral processing stream, but adults and children aged 9-11 years showed face-preferential loci near the classically defined fusiform face area, whereas children aged 5-8 years showed this activation in the posterior ventral processing stream. In addition, the degree of category-selectivity in other brain regions increased with age. Collectively, these developmental changes may reflect fine-tuning in visual recognition processes based on learning and experience.

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