Multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) reveals abnormal fMRI activity in both the 'core' and 'extended' face network in congenital prosopagnosia

Article


Rivolta, D., Woolgar, Alexandra, Palermo, Romina, Butko, Marina, Schmalzl, Laura and Williams, Mark A. 2014. Multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) reveals abnormal fMRI activity in both the 'core' and 'extended' face network in congenital prosopagnosia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 8 (925).
AuthorsRivolta, D., Woolgar, Alexandra, Palermo, Romina, Butko, Marina, Schmalzl, Laura and Williams, Mark A.
Abstract

The ability to identify faces is mediated by a network of cortical and subcortical brain regions in humans. It is still a matter of debate which regions represent the functional substrate of congenital prosopagnosia (CP), a condition characterized by a lifelong impairment in face recognition, and affecting around 2.5% of the general population. Here, we used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to measure neural responses to faces, objects, bodies, and body-parts in a group of seven CPs and ten healthy control participants. Using multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) of the fMRI data we demonstrate that neural activity within the “core” (i.e., occipital face area and fusiform face area) and “extended” (i.e., anterior temporal cortex) face regions in CPs showed reduced discriminability between faces and objects. Reduced differentiation between faces and objects in CP was also seen in the right parahippocampal cortex. In contrast, discriminability between faces and bodies/body-parts and objects and bodies/body-parts across the ventral visual system was typical in CPs. In addition to MVPA analysis, we also ran traditional mass-univariate analysis, which failed to show any group differences in face and object discriminability. In sum, these findings demonstrate (i) face-object representations impairments in CP which encompass both the “core” and “extended” face regions, and (ii) superior power of MVPA in detecting group differences.

JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
Journal citation8 (925)
ISSN1662-5161
Year2014
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3389/fnhum.2014.00925
Publication dates
Online13 Nov 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Mar 2015
Accepted30 Oct 2014
FunderMacquarie University
Australian Research Council
Australian Research Council
Copyright information© 2014 Rivolta, Woolgar, Palermo, Butko, Schmalzl and Williams. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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