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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 10;106(6):1995-2000. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0807304106. Epub 2009 Jan 28.

An anterior temporal face patch in human cortex, predicted by macaque maps.

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  • 1NMR Martinos Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Increasing evidence suggests that primate visual cortex has a specialized architecture for processing discrete object categories such as faces. Human fMRI studies have described a localized region in the fusiform gyrus [the fusiform face area (FFA)] that responds selectively to faces. In contrast, in nonhuman primates, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have instead revealed 2 apparently analogous regions of face representation: the posterior temporal face patch (PTFP) and the anterior temporal face patch (ATFP). An earlier study suggested that human FFA is homologous to the PTFP in macaque. However, in humans, no obvious homologue of the macaque ATFP has been demonstrated. Here, we used fMRI to map face-selective sites in both humans and macaques, based on equivalent stimuli in a quantitative topographic comparison. This fMRI evidence suggests that such a face-selective area exists in human anterior inferotemporal cortex, comprising the apparent homologue of the fMRI-defined ATFP in macaques.

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