Our high resolution fMRI work at 7T characterizes the fine-grained spatial organization of expertise effects within and around the fusiform face area (FFA). We find that putative face-selective voxels (1mm isotropic) are often interdigitated amongst putative object-selective voxels. Within the lateral fusiform gyrus, expertise effects for non-face objects are restricted to a small area (200mm2 on the right and 50mm2 on the left) centered on the peak of face selectivity. McGugin et al. (2012) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
We use 7T imaging to test the fine grain stability of expertise effects within the FFA as well as across early visual and ventral temporal cortices. We test the robustness of expertise effects using a strong task manipulation, finding that effects are reduced in several extrastriate regions but remain robust in right anterior FFA (FFA2). McGugin et al. (submitted)
Also see McGugin et al. (2014) Cerebral Cortex
The Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET) Our lab has developed a test of object recognition, the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET), which measures the ability to recognize examples from eight categories of visually similar objects: leaves, owls, butterflies, wading birds, mushrooms, cars, planes and motorcycles. We have continued to develop and expand this test to include new categories of objects and to run across a variety of platforms. Please email me to hear the latest news on the test or for access to run the VET in your own lab! McGugin et al. (2012) Vision Research
We work on anatomical scans too (!), segmenting the grey matter and white matter of the brain to get an index of cortical thickness. We analyze structural scans to explore the relationship between the cortical thickness of the functionally-defined FFA and face and object recognition using the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT) and the Vanderbilt Expertise Test (VET). We find that males with a thicker FFA cortex performed better with vehicles, while those with a thinner FFA cortex performed better with faces and living objects. McGugin et al. (submitted)
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