unctional MRI (fMRI) studies have investigated the degree to which processing of whole faces, face-parts, and bodies are differentially localized within the fusiform gyrus and adjacent ventral occipitotemporal cortex. While some studies have emphasized the spatial differentiation of processing into discrete areas, others have emphasized the overlap of processing and the importance of distributed patterns of activity. Intracranial EEG (iEEG) recorded from subdural electrodes provides excellent temporal and spatial resolution of local neural activity, and thus provides an alternative method to fMRI for studying differences and commonalities in face and body processing. In this study we recorded iEEG from 12 patients while they viewed images of novel faces, isolated eyes, headless bodies, and flowers. Event-related potential analysis identified 69 occipitotemporal sites at which there was a face-, eye-, or body-selective response when contrasted to flowers. However, when comparing faces, eyes, and bodies to each other at these sites, we identified only 3 face-specific, 13 eye-specific, and 1 body-specific electrodes. Thus, at the majority of sites, faces, eyes, and bodies evoked similar responses. However, we identified ten locations at which the amplitude of the responses spatially varied across adjacent electrodes, indicating that the configuration of current sources and sinks were different for faces, eyes, and bodies. Our results also demonstrate that eye-sensitive regions are more abundant and more purely selective than face- or body-sensitive regions, particularly in lateral occipitotemporal cortex.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience