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"Hearing faces and seeing voices": Amodal coding of person identity in the human brain

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Bashar Awwad Shiekh Hasan



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2016 The Author(s). Recognizing familiar individuals is achieved by the brain by combining cues from several sensory modalities, including the face of a person and her voice. Here we used functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) and a whole-brain, searchlight multi-voxel pattern analysis (MVPA) to search for areas in which local fMRI patterns could result in identity classification as a function of sensory modality. We found several areas supporting face or voice stimulus classification based on fMRI responses, consistent with previous reports; the classification maps overlapped across modalities in a single area of right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). Remarkably, we also found several cortical areas, mostly located along the middle temporal gyrus, in which local fMRI patterns resulted in identity "cross-classification": vocal identity could be classified based on fMRI responses to the faces, or the reverse, or both. These findings are suggestive of a series of cortical identity representations increasingly abstracted from the input modality.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Awwad Shiekh Hasan B, Valdes-Sosa M, Gross J, Belin P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2016

Volume: 6

Online publication date: 24/11/2016

Acceptance date: 27/10/2016

Date deposited: 03/04/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/srep37494


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