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J Neurophysiol. 1994 Feb;71(2):821-5.

Face recognition in human extrastriate cortex.

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  • 1Neuropsychology Laboratory, Veterans Administration Medical Center, West Haven, Connecticut 06510.


1. Twenty-four patients with electrodes chronically implanted on the surface of extrastriate visual cortex viewed faces, equiluminant scrambled faces, cars, scrambled cars, and butterflies. 2. A surface-negative potential, N200, was evoked by faces but not by the other categories of stimuli. N200 was recorded only from small regions of the left and right fusiform and inferior temporal gyri. Electrical stimulation of the same region frequently produced a temporary inability to name familiar faces. 3. The results suggest that discrete regions of inferior extrastriate visual cortex, varying in location between individuals, are specialized for the recognition of faces. These "face modules" appear to be intercalated among other functionally specific small regions.

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