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The gender of face stimuli is represented in multiple regions in the human brain


Kaul, C; Rees, G; Ishai, A (2011). The gender of face stimuli is represented in multiple regions in the human brain. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 4:238.

Abstract

Face perception in humans is mediated by activation in a network of brain areas. Conventional univariate fMRI data analysis has not localized differential responses to viewing male as compared with viewing female faces within this network. We tested whether we could detect neural response patterns specific to viewing male vs. female faces in 40 participants. Replicating earlier work, face stimuli evoked activation in the core (inferior occipital gyrus, IOG; fusiform gyrus, FG; and superior temporal sulcus, STS), as well as extended (amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus, IFG; insula, INS; and orbitofrontal cortex, OFC) regions of the face network. Multivariate pattern classification of activity within these regions revealed successful decoding of gender information, significantly above chance, in the IOG, FG, STS, IFG, INS, and OFC, but not in the amygdala. Multiple control regions indicated that this result might be restricted to face-responsive regions. Our findings suggest that gender information is distributed across the face network and is represented in the core regions that process invariant facial features, as well as the extended regions that process changeable aspects of faces.

Face perception in humans is mediated by activation in a network of brain areas. Conventional univariate fMRI data analysis has not localized differential responses to viewing male as compared with viewing female faces within this network. We tested whether we could detect neural response patterns specific to viewing male vs. female faces in 40 participants. Replicating earlier work, face stimuli evoked activation in the core (inferior occipital gyrus, IOG; fusiform gyrus, FG; and superior temporal sulcus, STS), as well as extended (amygdala, inferior frontal gyrus, IFG; insula, INS; and orbitofrontal cortex, OFC) regions of the face network. Multivariate pattern classification of activity within these regions revealed successful decoding of gender information, significantly above chance, in the IOG, FG, STS, IFG, INS, and OFC, but not in the amygdala. Multiple control regions indicated that this result might be restricted to face-responsive regions. Our findings suggest that gender information is distributed across the face network and is represented in the core regions that process invariant facial features, as well as the extended regions that process changeable aspects of faces.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:28 Feb 2012 17:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:40
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1662-5161
Additional Information:This Document is protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.
Publisher DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2010.00238
PubMed ID:21270947
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-60045

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