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See detailDissociated face- and word-selective intracerebral responses in the human ventral occipito-temporal cortex.
Hagen, Simen; Lochy, Aliette UL; Jacques, Corentin et al

in Brain Structure & Function (2021), 226(9), 3031-49

The extent to which faces and written words share neural circuitry in the human brain is actively debated. Here, we compare face-selective and word-selective responses in a large group of patients (N = 37 ... [more ▼]

The extent to which faces and written words share neural circuitry in the human brain is actively debated. Here, we compare face-selective and word-selective responses in a large group of patients (N = 37) implanted with intracerebral electrodes in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex (VOTC). Both face-selective (i.e., significantly different responses to faces vs. non-face visual objects) and word-selective (i.e., significantly different responses to words vs. pseudofonts) neural activity is isolated with frequency-tagging. Critically, this sensitive approach allows to objectively quantify category-selective neural responses and disentangle them from general visual responses. About 70% of significant electrode contacts show either face-selectivity or word-selectivity only, with the expected right and left hemispheric dominance, respectively. Spatial dissociations are also found within core regions of face and word processing, with a medio-lateral dissociation in the fusiform gyrus (FG) and surrounding sulci, respectively. In the 30% of overlapping face- and word-selective contacts across the VOTC or in the FG and surrounding sulci, between-category-selective amplitudes (faces vs. words) show no-to-weak correlations, despite strong correlations in both the within-category-selective amplitudes (face–face, word–word) and the general visual responses to words and faces. Overall, these observations support the view that category-selective circuitry for faces and written words is largely dissociated in the human adult VOTC.Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s00429-021-02350-4. [less ▲]

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