Expertise for cars and birds recruits brain areas involved in face recognition.

Gauthier I, Skudlarski P, Gore JC, Anderson AW
Nat Neurosci. 2000 3 (2): 191-7

PMID: 10649576 · DOI:10.1038/72140

Expertise with unfamiliar objects ('greebles') recruits face-selective areas in the fusiform gyrus (FFA) and occipital lobe (OFA). Here we extend this finding to other homogeneous categories. Bird and car experts were tested with functional magnetic resonance imaging during tasks with faces, familiar objects, cars and birds. Homogeneous categories activated the FFA more than familiar objects. Moreover, the right FFA and OFA showed significant expertise effects. An independent behavioral test of expertise predicted relative activation in the right FFA for birds versus cars within each group. The results suggest that level of categorization and expertise, rather than superficial properties of objects, determine the specialization of the FFA.

MeSH Terms (16)

Adult Animals Automobiles Birds Brain Mapping Data Display Face Humans Magnetic Resonance Imaging Male Occipital Lobe Pattern Recognition, Visual Photic Stimulation Professional Competence Task Performance and Analysis Temporal Lobe

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