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A study on neural mechanism of face processing based on fMRI

Keywords: face processing,Chinese characters,fusiform gyrus,fMRI

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Abstract:

Recently, there were debates about the specificity of lateral middle fuisform in face processing. The debates focused on whether these areas were specialized in face processing or involved in processing of visual expertise and categorization at individual level. The present study aims to investigate the neural mechanism of face processing, using Chinese characters as comparison stimuli. Chinese characters are greatly similar to faces on a variety of dimensions, among which the most significant one is that both faces and Chinese characters not only are extremely familiar to literate Chinese adults but also are processed at individual level. In the present study, faces and Chinese characters activated bilateral middle fusiform with great correlation. Greater activities were observed in the right fusiform face area (FFA) for faces than for Chinese characters. These results demonstrate that FFA is specialized in face processing per se rather than the processing of visual expertise and categorization at individual level.

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