Let's face it: The lateralization of the face perception network as measured with fMRI is not clearly right dominant
The neural face perception network is distributed across both hemispheres. However, the dominant role in humans is virtually unanimously attributed to the right hemisphere. Interestingly, there are, to our knowledge, no imaging studies that systematically describe the distribution of hemispheric lat...
|Main Authors:||, , , , ,|
|Online Access:||PDF Full Text|
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
|Summary:||The neural face perception network is distributed across both hemispheres. However, the dominant role in humans is virtually unanimously attributed to the right hemisphere. Interestingly, there are, to our knowledge, no imaging studies that systematically describe the distribution of hemispheric lateralization in the core system of face perception across subjects in large cohorts so far. To address this, we determined the hemispheric lateralization of all core system regions (i.e., occipital face area - OFA, fusiform face area - FFA, posterior superior temporal sulcus - pSTS) in 108 healthy subjects using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We were particularly interested in the variability of hemispheric lateralization across subjects and explored how many subjects can be classified as right-dominant based on the fMRI activation pattern. We further assessed lateralization differences between different regions of the core system and analyzed the influence of handedness and sex on the lateralization with a generalized mixed effects regression model. As expected, brain activity was on average stronger in right-hemispheric brain regions than in their left-hemispheric homologues. This asymmetry was, however, only weakly pronounced in comparison to other lateralized brain functions (such as language and spatial attention) and strongly varied between individuals. Only half of the subjects in the present study could be classified as right-hemispheric dominant. Additionally, we did not detect significant lateralization differences between core system regions. Our data did also not support a general leftward shift of hemispheric lateralization in left-handers. Only the interaction of handedness and sex in the FFA revealed that specifically left-handed men were significantly more left-lateralized compared to right-handed males. In essence, our fMRI data did not support a clear right-hemispheric dominance of the face perception network. Our findings thus ultimately question the dogma that the face perception network – as measured with fMRI – can be characterized as “typically right lateralized”.|
|Item Description:||Gefördert durch den Open-Access-Publikationsfonds der UB Marburg.|