CSAIL Event Calendar: Previous Series
On the Neural Machinery for Face Processing: A Joint Imaging & Electrophysiology Approach
Speaker: Dr. Winrich Freiwald , Center for Cognitive Sciences & Advanced Imaging, Bremen University
FMRI in humans has revealed several cortical areas which respond more strongly to pictures of faces than to pictures of other objects. Whether these areas constitute modules or domains dedicated entirely to face-processing, is of fundamental importance to our understanding of information processing in the brain in general and has been the subject of much debate over the last years. Recently, using fMRI in awake, fixating macaque monkeys, Doris Tsao and I have found several patches of face-selective cortex within the temporal lobe, possibly homologous to human face-selective areas. In my talk, I will present electrophysiological data we have subsequently obtained by recording single-unit activity and local field potentials from inside three of these face-selective patches. I will also talk about the connectivity of the different patches. These data speak to questions of domain specificity, principles of complex shape coding, and processing hierarchies, and they exemplify the power of a joint fMRI and electrophysiology approach to understanding brain function.