Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University

Japanese

Reference frames for spatial frequency in face representation differ in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala

Journal J Neurosci 31, 10371-79 (2011)
Authors Inagaki M, Fujita I
Title Reference frames for spatial frequency in face representation differ in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala
PubMed 21753014
Laboratory Cognitive Neuroscience Group 〈Prof. Fujita〉
Abstract Social communication in nonhuman primates and humans is strongly affected by facial information from other individuals. Many cortical and subcortical brain areas are known to be involved in processing facial information. However, how the neural representation of faces differs across different brain areas remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the reference frame for spatial frequency (SF) tuning of face-responsive neurons differs in the temporal visual cortex and amygdala in monkeys. Consistent with psychophysical properties for face recognition, temporal cortex neurons were tuned to image-based SFs (cycles/image) and showed viewing distance-invariant representation of face patterns. On the other hand, many amygdala neurons were influenced by retina-based SFs (cycles/degree), a characteristic that is useful for social distance computation. The two brain areas also differed in the luminance contrast sensitivity of face-responsive neurons; amygdala neurons sharply reduced their responses to low luminance contrast images, while temporal cortex neurons maintained the level of their responses. From these results, we conclude that different types of visual processing in the temporal visual cortex and the amygdala contribute to the construction of the neural representations of faces.