Interspecies activation correlations reveal functional correspondences between marmoset and human brain areas

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Sep 14;118(37):e2110980118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2110980118.


The common marmoset has enormous promise as a nonhuman primate model of human brain functions. While resting-state functional MRI (fMRI) has provided evidence for a similar organization of marmoset and human cortices, the technique cannot be used to map the functional correspondences of brain regions between species. This limitation can be overcome by movie-driven fMRI (md-fMRI), which has become a popular tool for noninvasively mapping the neural patterns generated by rich and naturalistic stimulation. Here, we used md-fMRI in marmosets and humans to identify whole-brain functional correspondences between the two primate species. In particular, we describe functional correlates for the well-known human face, body, and scene patches in marmosets. We find that these networks have a similar organization in both species, suggesting a largely conserved organization of higher-order visual areas between New World marmoset monkeys and humans. However, while face patches in humans and marmosets were activated by marmoset faces, only human face patches responded to the faces of other animals. Together, the results demonstrate that higher-order visual processing might be a conserved feature between humans and New World marmoset monkeys but that small, potentially important functional differences exist.

Keywords: cortex; functional MRI; marmoset; naturalistic movie.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Callithrix / physiology*
  • Face / anatomy & histology
  • Face / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult