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ERIC Number: EJ799949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0278-2626
Guided Saccades Modulate Face- and Body-Sensitive Activation in the Occipitotemporal Cortex during Social Perception
Morris, James P.; Green, Steven R.; Marion, Brian; McCarthy, Gregory
Brain and Cognition, v67 n3 p254-263 Aug 2008
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has identified distinct brain regions in ventral occipitotemporal cortex (VOTC) and lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) that are differentially activated by pictures of faces and bodies. Recent work from our laboratory has shown that the strong LOTC activation evoked by bodies in which the face is occluded is attenuated when the occlusion is removed. We hypothesized that this attenuation may occur because subjects preferentially fixate upon faces when present in the scene. Here, we experimentally manipulated subjects' fixations while they viewed a static picture of a character whose face, hand, and torso were continuously visible throughout each run. The subject's saccades and fixations were guided by a small fixation cross that made discrete jumps to a new location every 500 ms. Subjects were instructed to follow the fixation cross and make a button press whenever it changed size. In a series of blocks, the fixation cross shifted from locations on the face, on the hand, and to locations on a background image of a phase-scrambled face. In a second study, the fixation cross moved similarly, but the hand locations were changed to locations along the character's body or torso. A localizer task was used to identify face- and body-sensitive regions of LOTC. Body-sensitive regions were strongly activated when the subjects' saccades were guided over the character's torso relative to when the saccades were guided over the character's face. Little to no activity occurred in the body-sensitive region of LOTC when the subjects' saccades were guided over the character's hand. The localizer task was unable to differentiate body-sensitive regions in lateral VOTC from face-sensitive regions, or body-sensitive regions in medial VOTC from flower-sensitive regions. Guided saccades over the body strongly activated both lateral and medial VOTC. These results provide new insights into the function of body-sensitive visual areas in both LOTC and VOTC, and illustrate the potential confounding influence of uncontrolled eye movements for neuroimaging studies of social perception. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A