Functional and Anatomical Decomposition of Face Processing: Evidence from Prosopagnosia and PET Study of Normal Subjects
Studies of brain-damaged patients have revealed the existence of a selective impairment of face processing, prosopagnosia, resulting from lesions at different loci in the occipital and temporal lobes. The lesions are often extensive, and it is unclear what functional aspects of face processing are normally served by the damaged areas, and whether they are uniquely devoted to the processing of faces. These issues are further addressed through a combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) study of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in normal subjects performing different tasks of face and object processing. The results indicate different patterns of cerebral activation depending on the requirements of the tasks within the processing of faces, as well as a clear dissociation of the neural substrates underlying face and object processing. These results are compared with radiological data from prosopagnosic patients, and are put in relation with the patterns of deficits observed in the patients as a function of the location of their lesions. Together, the findings offer new evidence regarding the functional neuroanatomy of face and object processing.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B
- Pub Date:
- January 1992