The visual cortex exhibits functional specialization that can be routinely demonstrated using hemodynamic measures like fMRI and PET. To understand the dynamic nature of cortical processes, however, source imaging with a high temporal resolution is necessary. Here, we asked how well distributed EEG source localization (LAURA) identifies functionally specialized visual processes. We tested three stimulus paradigms commonly used in fMRI with the aim to localize striate cortex, motion-sensitive areas, and face-sensitive areas. EEG source localization showed initial activations in striate and extra-striate areas at around 70ms after stimulus onset. These were quickly followed by extensive cortical, as well as subcortical activation. Functional motion and face-selective areas were localized with margins of below 2cm, at around 170 and 150ms, respectively. The results furthermore show for the first time that the C1 component has generators in the insula and frontal eye fields, but also in subcortical areas like the parahippocampus and the thalamus.
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