ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (4): 510-516.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00510

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The functional specialization and collaboration of #br# the bilateral fusiform face areas

SUN Dan; ZHANG Ye   

  1. (Center for Cognition and Brain Disorders, Hangzhou Normal University;
    Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Research in Assessment of Cognitive Impairments, Hangzhou 311121,
  • Received:2015-04-23 Online:2016-04-15 Published:2016-04-15
  • Contact: ZHANG Ye, E-mail:


The fusiform face area (FFA) is a sub-region of the human visual cortex, which is highly selective to faces relative to other objects. However, there are controversies about the functional specialization and collaboration of the bilateral FFAs. In terms of the processing of specific stimuli, the right FFA is responsible for perceiving face categories while the left FFA is tuned to fine facial features. As for cerebral plasticity, the normal development of the right FFA underlines the teenager’s social capacity and perceptual learning while the left FFA contributes to face learning in adults. Within the face perception network, the bilateral FFAs link to different cortices in order to perform various cognitive functions. The directions of collaboration are tasks contingent. Three questions deserve further examinations: (1) What is the extent of plasticity of the left FFA and whether this plasticity is cognitively specific? (2) What is the cognitive implication of the left FFA and how does it connect with other brain areas; (3) What are the directional patterns of connectivity within the facial network.

Key words: face recognition, bilateral FFA, functional specialization, functional cooperation, face-selective network