Face-selective and auditory neurons in the primate orbitofrontal cortex

Exp Brain Res. 2006 Mar;170(1):74-87. doi: 10.1007/s00221-005-0191-y. Epub 2005 Nov 17.


Neurons with responses selective for faces are described in the macaque orbitofrontal cortex. The neurons typically respond 2-13 times more to the best face than to the best non-face stimulus, and have response latencies which are typically in the range of 130-220 ms. Some of these face-selective neurons respond to identity, and others to facial expression. Some of the neurons do not have different responses to different views of a face, which is a useful property of neurons responding to face identity. Other neurons have view-dependent responses, and some respond to moving but not still heads. The neurons with face expression, face movement, or face view-dependent responses would all be useful as part of a system decoding and representing signals important in social interactions. The representation of face identity is also important in social interactions, for it provides some of the information needed in order to make different responses to different individuals. In addition, some orbitofrontal cortex neurons were shown to be tuned to auditory stimuli, including for some neurons, the sound of vocalizations. The findings are relevant to understanding the functions of the primate including human orbitofrontal cortex in normal behaviour, and to understanding the effects of damage to this region in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Face*
  • Facial Expression
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Motion Perception / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*
  • Recognition, Psychology / physiology*
  • Vocalization, Animal