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Dissociated face- and word-selective intracerebral responses in the human ventral occipito-temporal cortex

Abstract : 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.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03437752
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Submitted on : Saturday, November 20, 2021 - 2:22:35 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 3:16:58 AM

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Simen Hagen, Aliette Lochy, Corentin Jacques, Louis Maillard, Sophie Colnat-Coulbois, et al.. Dissociated face- and word-selective intracerebral responses in the human ventral occipito-temporal cortex. Brain Structure and Function, Springer Verlag, 2021, 226 (9), pp.3031-3049. ⟨10.1007/s00429-021-02350-4⟩. ⟨hal-03437752⟩

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