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Neuroimage. 2014 Jan 1;84:453-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.068. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

The mid-fusiform sulcus: a landmark identifying both cytoarchitectonic and functional divisions of human ventral temporal cortex.

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Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. Electronic address:


Human ventral temporal cortex (VTC) plays a pivotal role in high-level vision. An under-studied macroanatomical feature of VTC is the mid-fusiform sulcus (MFS), a shallow longitudinal sulcus separating the lateral and medial fusiform gyrus (FG). Here, we quantified the morphological features of the MFS in 69 subjects (ages 7-40), and investigated its relationship to both cytoarchitectonic and functional divisions of VTC with four main findings. First, despite being a minor sulcus, we found that the MFS is a stable macroanatomical structure present in all 138 hemispheres with morphological characteristics developed by age 7. Second, the MFS is the locus of a lateral-medial cytoarchitectonic transition within the posterior FG serving as the boundary between cytoarchitectonic regions FG1 and FG2. Third, the MFS predicts a lateral-medial functional transition in eccentricity bias representations in children, adolescents, and adults. Fourth, the anterior tip of the MFS predicts the location of a face-selective region, mFus-faces/FFA-2. These findings are the first to illustrate that a macroanatomical landmark identifies both cytoarchitectonic and functional divisions of high-level sensory cortex in humans and have important implications for understanding functional and structural organization in the human brain.


Cytoarchitectonics; Eccentricity bias; Fusiform face area; Fusiform gyrus; Mid-fusiform sulcus

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