Faces and eyes in human lateral prefrontal cortex

Wai Yiu Chan, Paul E. Downing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Much of the work on face-selective neural activity has focused on posterior, ventral areas of the human and non-human primate brain. However, electrophysiological and fMRI studies have identifed face responses in the prefrontal cortex. Here we used fMRI to characterize these responses in the human prefrontal cortex compared with face selectivity in posterior ventral region. We examined a region at the junction of the right inferior frontal sulcus and the precentral sulcus (right inferior frontal junction or rIFJ) that responds more to faces than to several other object categories. We fnd that the rIFJ and the right fusiform face area (rFFA) are broadly similar in their responses to whole faces, headless bodies, tools, and scenes. Strikingly, however, while the rFFA preferentially responds to the whole face, the rIFJ response to faces appears to be driven primarily by the eyes. This dissociation provides clues to the functional role of the rIFJ face response. We speculate on this role with reference to emotion perception, gaze perception, and to behavioral relevance more generally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Issue numberJUNE
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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Prefrontal Cortex
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Primates
Emotions
Brain

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Faces and eyes in human lateral prefrontal cortex. / Chan, Wai Yiu; Downing, Paul E.

In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, No. JUNE, 51, 01.01.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chan, Wai Yiu ; Downing, Paul E. / Faces and eyes in human lateral prefrontal cortex. In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 2011 ; No. JUNE.
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