Whole person-evoked fMRI activity patterns in human fusiform gyrus are accurately modeled by a linear combination of face- and body-evoked activity patterns

Daniel Kaiser, Lukas Strnad, Katharina N. Seidl, Sabine Kastner, Marius V. Peelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Visual cues from the face and the body provide information about another's identity, emotional state, and intentions. Previous neuroimaging studies that investigated neural responses to (bodiless) faces and (headless) bodies have reported overlapping face- and body-selective brain regions in right fusiform gyrus (FG). In daily life, however, faces and bodies are typically perceived together and are effortlessly integrated into the percept of a whole person, raising the possibility that neural responses to whole persons are qualitatively different than responses to isolated faces and bodies. The present study used fMRI to examine how FG activity in response to a whole person relates to activity in response to the same face and body but presented in isolation. Using multivoxel pattern analysis, we modeled person-evoked response patterns in right FG through a linear combination of face- and body-evoked response patterns. We found that these synthetic patterns were able to accurately approximate the response patterns to whole persons, with face and body patterns each adding unique information to the response patterns evoked by whole person stimuli. These results suggest that whole person responses in FG primarily arise from the coactivation of independent face- and body-selective neural populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume111
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology

Keywords

  • Category selectivity
  • Extrastriate body area
  • Fusiform body area
  • Fusiform face area
  • Object perception

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