BRAIN IMAGINGDetecting faces in pure noise images: a functional MRI study on top-down perceptionZhang, Hongchuana c; Liu, Jiangangd; Huber, David E.b; Rieth, Cory A.b; Tian, Jiee f; Lee, KanggAuthor Information aCenter for Human Development bDepartment of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA cState Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University dSchool of Computer and Information Technology, Beijing Jiaotong University eInstitute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing fLife Science Research Center, Xidian University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China gInstitute of Child Study, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Correspondence to Kang Lee, Institute of Child Study, University of Toronto, 45 Walmer Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 2X2 Tel: +416 934 4597; fax: +416 934 4565; e-mail: email@example.com, or Jie Tian, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100080, China; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Received 16 October 2007; accepted 18 November 2007 NeuroReport: January 22nd, 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 229-233 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f49083 Buy Metrics Abstract To assess the nature of top-down perceptual processes without contamination from bottom-up input, this functional MRI study investigated face detection in pure noise images. Greater activation was revealed for face versus nonface responses in the fusiform face area, but not in the occipital face area. Across participants, positive correlations were found for the degree of greater face-detection activation between the fusiform face area and bilateral inferior frontal gyri, suggesting a top-down pathway generating perceptual expectations. In contrast, the medial frontal, parietal, supplementary motor, parahippocampal, and striatal areas produced negative correlations between degrees of greater face-detection activation and behavioral responses, suggesting a possible role for these areas in selecting and executing appropriate responses that are based on the top-down expectations. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.