Slow maturation of self-face specific channel in human inferior temporal gyrus

[Speaker] Morita, Tomoyo:1,2
[Co-author] Saito, Daisuke N:3, Ban, Midori:4, Shimada, Koji:3, Okamoto, Yuko:3, Kosaka, Hirotaka:3, Okazawa, Hidehiko:3, Asada, Minoru:1, Naito, Eiichi:2
1:Osaka University (Japan), 2:CiNet, NICT (Japan), 3:University of Fukui (Japan), 4:Doshisha University (Japan)

One's own face represents oneself, and the existence of self-face specific section in inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) has been suggested in adult's brain. Here, we provide novel evidence that this section matures and emerges only in late teens. We scanned brain activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging, while 20 younger children (8-11 years), 20 older children (12-15 years) and 20 young adults (18-23 years) were asked to view either their own face or others' faces and to judge if a presented face was one's own or not. All of them successfully judged their own faces. However, only in the young adult's brain, we found self-face specific activity in bilateral sections of ITG, which further showed clear right-side dominance. Specialization of self-face processing appears to slowly develop in the higher-order visual cortices with right-hemisphere dominance and mature in late teens, which may be associated with development of self-identity.
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