Nat Neurosci. 2003 Sep;6(9):989-95 doi: 10.1038/nn1111. 2003 Aug 20.

Faces and objects in macaque cerebral cortex

Tsao DY, Freiwald WA, Knutsen TA, Mandeville JB, Tootell RB.

Abstract

How are different object categories organized by the visual system? Current evidence indicates that monkeys and humans process object categories in fundamentally different ways. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies suggest that humans have a ventral temporal face area, but such evidence is lacking in macaques. Instead, face-responsive neurons in macaques seem to be scattered throughout temporal cortex, with some relative concentration in the superior temporal sulcus (STS). Here, using fMRI in alert fixating macaque monkeys and humans, we found that macaques do have discrete face-selective patches, similar in relative size and number to face patches in humans. The face patches were embedded within a large swath of object-selective cortex extending from V4 to rostral TE. This large region responded better to pictures of intact objects compared to scrambled objects, with different object categories eliciting different patterns of activity, as in the human. Overall, our results suggest that humans and macaques share a similar brain architecture for visual object processing.

PMID: 12925854