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Data from: A face-selective ventral occipito-temporal map of the human brain with intracerebral potentials


Jonas, Jacques et al. (2017), Data from: A face-selective ventral occipito-temporal map of the human brain with intracerebral potentials, Dryad, Dataset,


Human neuroimaging studies have identified a network of distinct face-selective regions in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOTC), with a right hemispheric dominance. To date, there is no evidence for this hemispheric and regional specialization with direct measures of brain activity. To address this gap in knowledge, we recorded local neurophysiological activity from 1,678 contact electrodes implanted in the VOTC of a large group of epileptic patients (n = 28). They were presented with natural images of objects at a rapid fixed rate (six images per second: 6 Hz), with faces interleaved as every fifth stimulus (i.e., 1.2 Hz). High signal-to-noise ratio face-selective responses were objectively (i.e., exactly at the face stimulation frequency) identified and quantified throughout the whole VOTC. Face-selective responses were widely distributed across the whole VOTC, but also spatially clustered in specific regions. Among these regions, the lateral section of the right middle fusiform gyrus showed the largest face-selective response by far, offering, to our knowledge, the first supporting evidence of two decades of neuroimaging observations with direct neural measures. In addition, three distinct regions with a high proportion of face-selective responses were disclosed in the right ventral anterior temporal lobe, a region that is undersampled in neuroimaging because of magnetic susceptibility artifacts. A high proportion of contacts responding only to faces (i.e., “face-exclusive” responses) were found in these regions, suggesting that they contain populations of neurons involved in dedicated face-processing functions. Overall, these observations provide a comprehensive mapping of visual category selectivity in the whole human VOTC with direct neural measures.

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