Decoding face categories in diagnostic subregions of primary visual cortex

Petro, L.S. , Smith, F.W., Schyns, P.G. and Muckli, L. (2013) Decoding face categories in diagnostic subregions of primary visual cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience, 37(7), pp. 1130-1139. (doi: 10.1111/ejn.12129) (PMID:23373719) (PMCID:PMC3816327)

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Higher visual areas in the occipitotemporal cortex contain discrete regions for face processing, but it remains unclear if V1 is modulated by top-down influences during face discrimination, and if this is widespread throughout V1 or localized to retinotopic regions processing task-relevant facial features. Employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we mapped the cortical representation of two feature locations that modulate higher visual areas during categorical judgements – the eyes and mouth. Subjects were presented with happy and fearful faces, and we measured the fMRI signal of V1 regions processing the eyes and mouth whilst subjects engaged in gender and expression categorization tasks. In a univariate analysis, we used a region-of-interest-based general linear model approach to reveal changes in activation within these regions as a function of task. We then trained a linear pattern classifier to classify facial expression or gender on the basis of V1 data from ‘eye’ and ‘mouth’ regions, and from the remaining non-diagnostic V1 region. Using multivariate techniques, we show that V1 activity discriminates face categories both in local ‘diagnostic’ and widespread ‘non-diagnostic’ cortical subregions. This indicates that V1 might receive the processed outcome of complex facial feature analysis from other cortical (i.e. fusiform face area, occipital face area) or subcortical areas (amygdala).

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Petro, Dr Lucy and Muckli, Professor Lars and Schyns, Professor Philippe and Smith, Dr Fraser
Authors: Petro, L.S., Smith, F.W., Schyns, P.G., and Muckli, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:European Journal of Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1460-9568
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
First Published:First published in European Journal of Neuroscience 37(7):1130-1139
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
237861Basic-level Categorisation: A Computational Model and its Empirical TestingPhilippe SchynsEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)R000237901INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
593891Brain reading of contextual feedback and predictions - BrainReadFBPredCodeLars MuckliEuropean Research Council (ERC)ERC-2012-Stg-31INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING
474481Brain processes predicting forthcoming perception - cortical feedback and visual predictionsLars MuckliBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/G005044/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING