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Categorical Representation of a Human/Monkey Face Continum in the Human and Non-Human Primate Temporal Lobe

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84221

Sigala,  R
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84201

Schultz,  J
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84063

Logothetis,  NK
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84154

Rainer,  G
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Sigala, R., Schultz, J., Logothetis, N., & Rainer, G. (2010). Categorical Representation of a Human/Monkey Face Continum in the Human and Non-Human Primate Temporal Lobe. Poster presented at AREADNE 2010: Research in Encoding And Decoding of Neural Ensembles, Santorini, Greece.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-BFBC-8
Abstract
Categorization of faces is fundamental for social interactions of primates. To understand its neural basis, we investigate how human and monkey face categories are represented in both the human and non-human primate brain. As stimuli, we use realistic three-dimensional morphed faces that linearly span the continuum between humans and monkeys (Fig. 1A). Extensive behavioral tests in both species revealed categorical perception with a shift of the categorical boundary towards the own species (Fig. 1B). This suggests that both species perceive the same stimulus continuum in a fundamentally different way. During a fixation task, we recorded from the temporal lobe extracellular signals in monkeys and BOLD signals in humans. To analyze the data, we used a multivariate pattern classifier approach based on Support Vector Machines and correlations. Consistent with the psychophysical results, we found an "own-species" bias in the categorical representation of human and monkey faces at the level of single neurons as well as in the population response in the inferior temporal lobe of the monkey. (Fig. 1C). Symmetrically, we found a categorical response with an ownspecies bias in the activation patterns of the left human STS. In addition, human ventral temporal cortex showed a higher sensitivity for human faces. Our results are the first to demonstrate the neural basis of categorical representation of a facial attribute in the primate brain. In addition, our data show that both psychophysical and neuronal data can show categorical boundary shifts indicative of the behavioral relevance of prototypical categories.