Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2009 Jan 13;19(1):50-3.
doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2008.11.048. Epub 2008 Dec 18.

Face Processing in the Chimpanzee Brain

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Face Processing in the Chimpanzee Brain

Lisa A Parr et al. Curr Biol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Human face recognition involves highly specialized cognitive and neural processes that enable the recognition of specific individuals. Although comparative studies suggest that similar cognitive processes underlie face recognition in chimpanzees and humans ([6-8] and Supplemental Data), it remains unknown whether chimpanzees also show face-selective activity in ventral temporal cortex. This study is the first to examine regional cerebral glucose metabolism with (18)F-flurodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in chimpanzees after they performed computerized tasks matching conspecifics' faces and nonface objects (Supplemental Data). A whole-brain analysis comparing these two tasks in five chimpanzees revealed significant face-selective activity in regions known to comprise the distributed cortical face-processing network in humans, including superior temporal sulcus and orbitofrontal cortex. In order to identify regions that were exclusively active during one task, but not the other, we subtracted a resting-state condition from each task and identified the activity exclusive to each. This revealed numerous distinct patches of face-selective activity in the fusiform gyrus that were interspersed within a large expanse of object-selective cortex. This pattern suggests similar object form topography in the ventral temporal cortex of chimpanzees and humans, in which faces may represent a special class of visual stimulus.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
illustrates the results of a whole brain analysis comparing metabolic brain activity during the face versus object-matching task (p< 0.05, uncorrected). Figure 1a shows face-selective activations in the right posterior STS (i) and orbitofrontal cortex (ii) overlaid on a 3D reconstruction of the average chimpanzee MRI (chimplate). Figure 1b illustrates face-selective activations in right posterior STS (iii), left primary motor/medial parietal cortex (iv), and posterior cingulate (v) overlaid on a coronal slice of the chimplate.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The mean proportion of face- and object-selective voxels in the fusiform gyrus and posterior STS identified using the following contrasts, face minus rest (FR), object minus rest (OR) and face minus object (FO).
Figure 3
Figure 3
The location of unique face- and object-selective activity in the chimpanzee brain. The results of repeated measures ANOVA in SPM5 showing the location of face and object-selective (p< 0.05) activity compared to rest were first binarized, and then added to form the union of these results (FR+OR). Each binarized condition was then subtracted from the binarized union to reveal regions that were uniquely face-selective [bin(FR+OR) − binOR], or uniquely object-selective [bin(FR+OR) − binFR]. Red patches show voxels that were significantly more active in the FR contrast, but showed no activation in the OR contrast. Yellow regions show voxels that were significantly more active during the OR contrast, but showed no activation in the FR contrast. These activations are overlaid on an average chimpanzee MRI brain in the axial (top row) and coronal (bottom row) planes. Images are in neurological convention (left is left).

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 30 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback