Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
We recorded magnetoencephalography using a neural entrainment paradigm with compound face stimuli that allowed for entraining the processing of various parts of a face (eyes, mouth) as well as changes in facial identity. Our magnetic response image-guided magnetoencephalography analyses revealed that different subnodes of the human face processing network were entrained differentially according to their functional specialization. Whereas the occipital face area was most responsive to the rate at which face parts (e.g., the mouth) changed, and face patches in the STS were mostly entrained by rhythmic changes in the eye region, the fusiform face area was the only subregion that was strongly entrained by the rhythmic changes in facial identity. Furthermore, top–down attention to the mouth, eyes, or identity of the face selectively modulated the neural processing in the respective area (i.e., occipital face area, STS, or fusiform face area), resembling behavioral cue validity effects observed in the participants' RT and detection rate data. Our results show the attentional weighting of the visual processing of different aspects and dimensions of a single face object, at various stages of the involved visual processing hierarchy.