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PLoS One. 2007 Jun 27;2(6):e574.

A preference for contralateral stimuli in human object- and face-selective cortex.

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McGovern Institute for Brain Research and Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Visual input from the left and right visual fields is processed predominantly in the contralateral hemisphere. Here we investigated whether this preference for contralateral over ipsilateral stimuli is also found in high-level visual areas that are important for the recognition of objects and faces. Human subjects were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they viewed and attended faces, objects, scenes, and scrambled images in the left or right visual field. With our stimulation protocol, primary visual cortex responded only to contralateral stimuli. The contralateral preference was smaller in object- and face-selective regions, and it was smallest in the fusiform gyrus. Nevertheless, each region showed a significant preference for contralateral stimuli. These results indicate that sensitivity to stimulus position is present even in high-level ventral visual cortex.

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