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J Neurophysiol. 2004 Sep;92(3):1830-9. Epub 2004 Apr 28.

fMRI-adaptation reveals dissociable neural representations of identity and expression in face perception.

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Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, 12 Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.


The distributed model of face processing proposes an anatomical dissociation between brain regions that encode invariant aspects of faces, such as identity, and those that encode changeable aspects of faces, such as expression. We tested for a neuroanatomical dissociation for identity and expression in face perception using a functional MRI (fMRI) adaptation paradigm. Repeating identity across face pairs led to reduced fMRI signal in fusiform cortex and posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS), whereas repeating emotional expression across pairs led to reduced signal in a more anterior region of STS. These results provide neuroanatomical evidence for the distributed model of face processing and highlight a dissociation within right STS between a caudal segment coding identity and a more rostral region coding emotional expression.

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