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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Jan;3(1):80-4.

Distinct representations of eye gaze and identity in the distributed human neural system for face perception.

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Section on Functional Brain Imaging, Laboratory of Brain and Cognition, National Institute of Mental Health, Building 10, Room 4C104, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1366, USA.


Face perception requires representation of invariant aspects that underlie identity recognition as well as representation of changeable aspects, such as eye gaze and expression, that facilitate social communication. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated the perception of face identity and eye gaze in the human brain. Perception of face identity was mediated more by regions in the inferior occipital and fusiform gyri, and perception of eye gaze was mediated more by regions in the superior temporal sulci. Eye-gaze perception also seemed to recruit the spatial cognition system in the intraparietal sulcus to encode the direction of another's gaze and to focus attention in that direction.

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