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Hominoid-specific sulcal variability is related to face perception ability

Parker, B. J., Voorhies, W. I., Jiahui, G. , Miller, J. A., Willbrand, E., Hallock, T., Furl, N., Garrido, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-1955-6506, Duchaine, B. & Weiner, K. S. (2023). Hominoid-specific sulcal variability is related to face perception ability. Brain Structure and Function, 228(2), pp. 677-685. doi: 10.1007/s00429-023-02611-4


The relationship among brain structure, brain function, and behavior is of major interest in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and psychology. This relationship is especially intriguing when considering hominoid-specific brain structures because they cannot be studied in widely examined models in neuroscience such as mice, marmosets, and macaques. The fusiform gyrus (FG) is a hominoid-specific structure critical for face processing that is abnormal in individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DPs)—individuals who have severe deficits recognizing the faces of familiar people in the absence of brain damage. While previous studies have found anatomical and functional differences in the FG between DPs and NTs, no study has examined the shallow tertiary sulcus (mid-fusiform sulcus, MFS) within the FG that is a microanatomical, macroanatomical, and functional landmark in humans, as well as was recently shown to be present in non-human hominoids. Here, we implemented pre-registered analyses of neuroanatomy and face perception in NTs and DPs. Results show that the MFS was shorter in DPs than NTs. Furthermore, individual differences in MFS length in the right, but not left, hemisphere predicted individual differences in face perception. These results support theories linking brain structure and function to perception, as well as indicate that individual differences in MFS length can predict individual differences in face processing. Finally, these findings add to growing evidence supporting a relationship between morphological variability of late developing, tertiary sulci and individual differences in cognition.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Developmental prosopagnosia, Neuroanatomy, Developmental disorders, Sulcal morphology, Cortical folding
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Q Science > QH Natural history
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
SWORD Depositor:
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