Tuesday 29 September 2015, 4.00PM to 5.00pm
Speaker(s): Dr David Pitcher
Faces are rich sources of social information that simultaneously convey someone’s identity, attentional focus, and emotional state. Our visual system is so efficient that, to us, processing this wealth of information seems effortless. Yet the simplest functions, like recognizing your mother or judging her mood, depend on the interaction of multiple specialized brain regions distributed across cortex. The location of these face regions is well established, but our understanding of the unique functions performed by each region and how these regions interact to facilitate face perception is limited. I address this issue by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to transiently disrupt face discrimination in neurologically normal experimental participants. In my talk I will describe a series of experiments that combine TMS with fMRI to measure the effects of the induced transient neural disruption across cortex. Using this virtual lesion approach demonstrates how functionally distinct cortical regions are causally connected in the undamaged brain.