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Dawn Finzi
Graduate Student

Differential white-matter tracts from foveal and peripheral V1 to face-selective regions

Recognizing and processing faces is integral to daily life. Throughout the years, many different cortical regions have been identified as involved in face processing. These regions can be divided based on their location along two distinct streams: pFus-faces, mFus-faces, and IOG-faces are located ventrally while pSTS-faces and mSTS-faces are located laterally, along the superior temporal cortex. This organization is highly reproducible across individuals and accompanied by functional differences. The ventral face-selective regions (pFus-faces, mFus-faces, and IOG-faces) are thought to be involved in processing face identity and face recognition, while regions on the lateral occipital temporal cortex (pSTS-faces and mSTS-faces), are thought to be involved in processing dynamic aspects of faces, such as expression and gaze. We hypothesize that the locations of these face-selective regions might be reproducible across individuals because (i) they are anatomically constrained by white-matter connections and (ii) that the pattern of white-matter connections from early visual cortex to regions in each of these two streams may differ. Specifically, we predict that there are differential contributions of foveal and peripheral inputs to the ventral and lateral streams, respectively. To test these hypotheses, we are using a combination of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI).