Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: PS-2B.25
Session: Poster Session 2B
Location: Symphony/Overture
Session Time: Friday, September 7, 19:30 - 21:30
Presentation Time:Friday, September 7, 19:30 - 21:30
Presentation: Poster
Paper Title: Task Demands and Stimulus Normalization in Face Perception: an fMRI Study
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
Authors: Nicholas Blauch, Rosemary Cowell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, United States
Abstract: Despite much research demonstrating face selectivity within a core set of brain regions, many questions remain regarding this putative network for face perception, including the role of task demands on processing. A recent study (Kaul et. al, 2014) demonstrated that decodability of face race in a fusiform face-selective area (FFA) was significant for fMRI activation patterns elicited during a team-discrimination task but not during a race-discrimination task. This suggests that cognitive task – specifically, the requirement for facial individuation – may play a significant role in the recruitment of FFA. We sought to replicate this research and extend its conclusions by 1) explicitly manipulating stimulus luminance histogram normalization, to determine whether race-decodability in a given region is attributable to low-level properties, 2) analyzing a range of visual cortical ROIs and applying searchlight analyses to examine face information and the influence of cognitive task in regions lying functionally “between” V1 and FFA, and 3) including a gender task to ask whether the influence of cognitive task applies to all simple, binary discriminations (male/female, black/white), or is instead specific to race discrimination. An initial sample (n=8) yields promising decoding of race and gender and paves the way for hypothesis testing with a full sample.