Correlates of individual voice and face preferential responses during resting state

Sci Rep. 2022 May 3;12(1):7117. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-11367-6.


Human nonverbal social signals are transmitted to a large extent by vocal and facial cues. The prominent importance of these cues is reflected in specialized cerebral regions which preferentially respond to these stimuli, e.g. the temporal voice area (TVA) for human voices and the fusiform face area (FFA) for human faces. But it remained up to date unknown whether there are respective specializations during resting state, i.e. in the absence of any cues, and if so, whether these representations share neural substrates across sensory modalities. In the present study, resting state functional connectivity (RSFC) as well as voice- and face-preferential activations were analysed from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data sets of 60 healthy individuals. Data analysis comprised seed-based analyses using the TVA and FFA as regions of interest (ROIs) as well as multi voxel pattern analyses (MVPA). Using the face- and voice-preferential responses of the FFA and TVA as regressors, we identified several correlating clusters during resting state spread across frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital regions. Using these regions as seeds, characteristic and distinct network patterns were apparent with a predominantly convergent pattern for the bilateral TVAs whereas a largely divergent pattern was observed for the bilateral FFAs. One region in the anterior medial frontal cortex displayed a maximum of supramodal convergence of informative connectivity patterns reflecting voice- and face-preferential responses of both TVAs and the right FFA, pointing to shared neural resources in supramodal voice and face processing. The association of individual voice- and face-preferential neural activity with resting state connectivity patterns may support the perspective of a network function of the brain beyond an activation of specialized regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Facial Recognition* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Voice*