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  Separated and overlapping neural coding of face and body identity

Foster, C., Zhao, M., Bolkart, T., Black, M., Bartels, A., & Bülthoff, I. (2021). Separated and overlapping neural coding of face and body identity. Human Brain Mapping, 42(13), 4242-4260. doi:10.1002/hbm.25544.

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Foster, C1, 2, Author              
Zhao, M1, 2, Author              
Bolkart, T.3, Author              
Black, MJ3, Author              
Bartels, A2, 4, Author              
Bülthoff, I1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794              
3Dept. Perceiving Systems, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Max Planck Society, ou_1497642              
4Department High-Field Magnetic Resonance, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497796              

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 Abstract: Recognising a person's identity often relies on face and body information, and is tolerant to changes in low-level visual input (e.g., viewpoint changes). Previous studies have suggested that face identity is disentangled from low-level visual input in the anterior face-responsive regions. It remains unclear which regions disentangle body identity from variations in viewpoint, and whether face and body identity are encoded separately or combined into a coherent person identity representation. We trained participants to recognise three identities, and then recorded their brain activity using fMRI while they viewed face and body images of these three identities from different viewpoints. Participants' task was to respond to either the stimulus identity or viewpoint. We found consistent decoding of body identity across viewpoint in the fusiform body area, right anterior temporal cortex, middle frontal gyrus and right insula. This finding demonstrates a similar function of fusiform and anterior temporal cortex for bodies as has previously been shown for faces, suggesting these regions may play a general role in extracting high-level identity information. Moreover, we could decode identity across fMRI activity evoked by faces and bodies in the early visual cortex, right inferior occipital cortex, right parahippocampal cortex and right superior parietal cortex, revealing a distributed network that encodes person identity abstractly. Lastly, identity decoding was consistently better when participants attended to identity, indicating that attention to identity enhances its neural representation. These results offer new insights into how the brain develops an abstract neural coding of person identity, shared by faces and bodies.

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 Dates: 2021-052021-09
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.25544
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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 42 (13) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 4242 - 4260 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686