Development of the macaque face-patch system

Nat Commun. 2017 Mar 31;8:14897. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14897.


Face recognition is highly proficient in humans and other social primates; it emerges in infancy, but the development of the neural mechanisms supporting this behaviour is largely unknown. We use blood-volume functional MRI to monitor longitudinally the responsiveness to faces, scrambled faces, and objects in macaque inferotemporal cortex (IT) from 1 month to 2 years of age. During this time selective responsiveness to monkey faces emerges. Some functional organization is present at 1 month; face-selective patches emerge over the first year of development, and are remarkably stable once they emerge. Face selectivity is refined by a decreasing responsiveness to non-face stimuli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Facial Recognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Cortex / physiology