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Annu Rev Vis Sci. 2017 Sep 15;3:167-196. doi: 10.1146/annurev-vision-102016-061214. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

The Functional Neuroanatomy of Human Face Perception.

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Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305; email:
Stanford Neurosciences Institute, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305.
Department of Radiology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455.
Neurosciences Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305.


Face perception is critical for normal social functioning and is mediated by a network of regions in the ventral visual stream. In this review, we describe recent neuroimaging findings regarding the macro- and microscopic anatomical features of the ventral face network, the characteristics of white matter connections, and basic computations performed by population receptive fields within face-selective regions composing this network. We emphasize the importance of the neural tissue properties and white matter connections of each region, as these anatomical properties may be tightly linked to the functional characteristics of the ventral face network. We end by considering how empirical investigations of the neural architecture of the face network may inform the development of computational models and shed light on how computations in the face network enable efficient face perception.


FFA; fMRI; face network; face recognition; mid-fusiform sulcus; population receptive fields; ventral stream

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