Functional characterization and differential coactivation patterns of two cytoarchitectonic visual areas on the human posterior fusiform gyrus

Hum Brain Mapp. 2014 Jun;35(6):2754-67. doi: 10.1002/hbm.22364. Epub 2013 Sep 13.


The ventral stream of the human extrastriate visual cortex shows a considerable functional heterogeneity from early visual processing (posterior) to higher, domain-specific processing (anterior). The fusiform gyrus hosts several of those "high-level" functional areas. We recently found a subdivision of the posterior fusiform gyrus on the microstructural level, that is, two distinct cytoarchitectonic areas, FG1 and FG2 (Caspers et al., Brain Structure & Function, 2013). To gain a first insight in the function of these two areas, here we studied their behavioral involvement and coactivation patterns by means of meta-analytic connectivity modeling based on the BrainMap database (, using probabilistic maps of these areas as seed regions. The coactivation patterns of the areas support the concept of a common involvement in a core network subserving different cognitive tasks, that is, object recognition, visual language perception, or visual attention. In addition, the analysis supports the previous cytoarchitectonic parcellation, indicating that FG1 appears as a transitional area between early and higher visual cortex and FG2 as a higher-order one. The latter area is furthermore lateralized, as it shows strong relations to the visual language processing system in the left hemisphere, while its right side is stronger associated with face selective regions. These findings indicate that functional lateralization of area FG2 relies on a different pattern of connectivity rather than side-specific cytoarchitectonic features.

Keywords: extrastriate visual cortex; fusiform face area; meta-analysis; meta-analytic connectivity modeling; visual word form area.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*