John C. Taylor, M. Roberts, P. Downing
Aug 1, 2010
Brain and Cognition
Electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging evidence points to the existence of neural populations that respond strongly and selectively to the appearance of the human body and its parts. However, the relationship between ERP and fMRI markers of these populations remains unclear. Here we used a previously identified functional dissociation between two body-selective regions identified with fMRI (extrastriate body area or EBA; fusiform body area or FBA) in order to better understand the source of a body-selective N1 ERP component. Specifically, we compared the magnitude of the N1 elicited by images of fingers, hands, arms and bodies to that obtained for hierarchically-matched control stimuli. We found close agreement between the pattern of body-part selectivity exhibited by N1, and the pattern of BOLD selectivity elicited in a previous study by the same type of stimuli in EBA (in contrast to FBA). We interpret these findings as evidence for EBA as the primary generator of the body-selective N1 component. Our results are an example of the use of functional criteria to distinguish among the possible neural sources of ERP markers.