Xiaoqing Gao, Face Categorization Lab dell’University of Louvain, Belgio

Defining the neural basis of perceptual categorization in a rapidly changing natural environment with low temporal resolution methods such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is challenging. Here, we present a novel Fast Periodic Stimulation (FPS) fMRI approach to define face-selective brain regions with natural images. Human observers are presented with a dynamic stream of widely variable natural object images alternating at a fast rate (6 images/sec). Every 9 seconds, a short burst of variable face images contrasting with object images in pairs induces an objective face-selective neural response at 0.111 Hz. A model-free Fourier analysis achieves a two-fold increase in signal-to-noise ratio compared to a conventional block-design approach with identical stimuli and scanning duration, allowing to derive a comprehensive map of face-selective areas in the ventral occipito-temporal cortex, including the anterior temporal lobe (ATL), in all individual brains. Critically, periodicity of the desired category contrast and random variability among widely diverse images effectively eliminates the contribution of low-level visual cues, and lead to the highest values (80-90%) of test-retest reliability in the spatial activation map yet reported in imaging higher-level visual functions. FPS-fMRI opens a new avenue for understanding brain function with low temporal resolution methods.

Lunedì 19 marzo 2018, ore 14.30

Aula 25, Edificio U6 (primo piano)

Tutti gli interessati sono invitati a partecipare.

Per informazioni:

Prof.ssa Viola Macchi Cassia