The improbable simplicity of the fusiform face area

Trends Cogn Sci. 2012 May;16(5):251-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2012.03.003. Epub 2012 Apr 3.


The fusiform face area (FFA) is described as an easily identifiable module on the fusiform gyrus. However, the organization of face-selective regions in ventral temporal cortex (VTC) is more complex than this prevailing view. We highlight methodological factors contributing to these complexities and the extensive variability in how the FFA is identified. We suggest a series of constraints to aid researchers when defining any functionally specialized region with a pleasing realization: anatomy matters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Humans
  • Neuroimaging
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*