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Science. 2008 Jun 6;320(5881):1355-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1157436.

Patches with links: a unified system for processing faces in the macaque temporal lobe.

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Institute for Brain Research and Center for Advanced Imaging, University of Bremen, Post Office Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany.


The brain processes objects through a series of regions along the ventral visual pathway, but the circuitry subserving the analysis of specific complex forms remains unknown. One complex form category, faces, selectively activates six patches of cortex in the macaque ventral pathway. To identify the connectivity of these face patches, we used electrical microstimulation combined with simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging. Stimulation of each of four targeted face patches produced strong activation, specifically within a subset of the other face patches. Stimulation outside the face patches produced an activation pattern that spared the face patches. These results suggest that the face patches form a strongly and specifically interconnected hierarchical network.

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