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Vision Res. 2009 Nov;49(23):2800-7. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2009.08.021. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

Adaptation in the fusiform face area (FFA): image or person?

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Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2520, USA.

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  • Vision Res. 2010 Jul 9;50(15):e1-3.


Viewing a sequence of faces of two different people results in a greater Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent (BOLD) response in FFA compared to a sequence of identical faces. Changes in identity, however, necessarily involve changes in the image. Is the release from adaptation a result of a change in face identity, per se, or could it be an effect that would arise from any change in the image of a face? Subjects viewed a sequence of two faces that could be of the same or different person, and in the same or different orientation in depth. Critically, the physical similarity of view changes of the same person was scaled, by Gabor-jet differences, to be equivalent to that produced by an identity change. Both person and orientation changes produced equivalent releases from adaptation in FFA (relative to identical faces) suggesting that FFA is sensitive to the physical similarity of faces rather than to the individuals depicted in the images.

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