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Faces evoke spatially differentiated patterns of BOLD activation and deactivation

Pelphrey, Kevin A.1,3; Mack, Peter B.1; Song, Allen1; Güzeldere, Güven1,4; McCarthy, Gregory1,2,CA

doi: 10.1097/

Using fMRI techniques sensitive to blood oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast, we measured brain activity in participants (n = 8) as they viewed images of faces presented periodically within a continuously changing montage of common objects. Consistent with prior studies, we identified regions of ventral extrastriate cortex, primarily in the fusiform and inferior temporal gyri and nearby cortex, that were activated by faces as measured by an increase in BOLD signal. In addition, we made the novel observation that faces deactivated other areas of ventral extrastriate cortex, primarily in the lingual and parahippocampal gyri and medial to activations. These deactivated regions, identified by a decrease in BOLD signal, may reflect populations of neurons that decrease their activity when faces appear, possibly as a consequence of category-specific inhibition. NeuroReport 14:955–959 © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

1Duke-UNC Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Medical Center, 163 Bell Building, Box 3918, Durham, NC 27710; 4Department of Philosophy, Duke University; 2Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center Durham, NC; 3Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

CACorresponding Author and Address:

Received 1 November 2002; accepted 11 February 2003

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.