BRAIN IMAGINGFeatural and configural face processing strategies: evidence from a functional magnetic resonance imaging studyLobmaier, Janek S.a; Klaver, Petera b; Loenneker, Thomasb; Martin, Ernstb; Mast, Fred W.cAuthor Information aDepartment of Psychology, University of Zurich bMR Center, University Children's Hospital, Zurich cDepartment of Psychology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland Correspondence to Fred W. Mast, Institute de Psychologie, Université de Lausanne, Bâtiment Anthropole, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland E-mail: email@example.com Received 13 November 2007; accepted 10 December 2007 NeuroReport: February 12th, 2008 - Volume 19 - Issue 3 - p 287-291 doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3282f556fe Buy Metrics Abstract We explored the processing mechanisms of featural and configural face information using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Featural information describes the information contained in the facial parts; configural information conveys the spatial interrelationship between parts. In a delayed matching-to-sample task, participants decided whether an intact test face matched a precedent scrambled or blurred cue face. Scrambled faces primarily contain featural information whereas blurred faces preserve configural information. Scrambled cue faces evoked enhanced activation in the left fusiform gyrus, left parietal lobe, and left lingual gyrus when viewing intact test faces. Following blurred cue faces, test faces enhanced activation bilaterally in the middle temporal gyrus. The results suggest that featural and configural information is processed by following distinct neural pathways. © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.