Fusiform gyrus

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Fusiform gyrus
Gray727 fusiform gyrus.png
Medial surface of left cerebral hemisphere. (Fusiform gyrus shown in orange)
Medial surface of cerebral cortex - fusiform gyrus.png
Medial surface of right cerebral hemisphere. (Fusiform gyrus visible near bottom)
Latin gyrus fusiformis
Gray's p.824
NeuroNames hier-121
NeuroLex ID Fusiform Gyrus
TA A14.1.09.227
FMA 61908
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The fusiform gyrus is part of the temporal lobe and occipital lobe in Brodmann area 37. It is also known as the (discontinuous) occipitotemporal gyrus.[1] The fusiform gyrus is located between the lingual gyrus and parahippocampal gyrus above, and the inferior temporal gyrus below.[2] The lateral and medial portions are separated by the shallow mid-fusiform sulcus.[3][4][5]


There is still some dispute over the functionalities of this area, but there is relative consensus on the following:

  1. processing of color information (see Color center)
  2. face and body recognition (see Fusiform face area)
  3. word recognition (see Visual word form area)
  4. within-category identification

Some researchers think that the fusiform gyrus may be related to the disorder known as prosopagnosia, or face blindness. Research has also shown that the fusiform face area, the area within the fusiform gyrus, is heavily involved in face perception but only to any generic within-category identification that is shown to be one of the functions of the fusiform gyrus.[6] Abnormalities of the fusiform gyrus have also been linked to Williams syndrome.[7] Fusiform gyrus has also been involved in the perception of emotions in facial stimuli.[8] However, individuals with autism show little to no activation in the fusiform gyrus in response to seeing a human face[9]

Increased neurophysiological activity in the fusiform face area may produce hallucinations of faces, whether realistic or cartoonesque, as seen in Charles Bonnet syndrome, hypnagogic hallucinations, peduncular hallucinations, or drug-induced hallucinations.[10]

Recent research has seen activation of the fusiform gyrus during subjective grapheme-color perception in people with synaesthesia.[11]

After further research by scientists at MIT, it was concluded that both the left and right fusiform gyrus played different roles from one another, but were subsequently interlinked. The left fusiform gyrus plays the role of recognizing "face-like" features in objects that may or may not be actual faces. Whereas the right fusiform gyrus plays the role in determining whether or not the recognized "face-like" feature is, in fact, an actual face.[12]


  1. ^ Nature Neuroscience, vol7, 2004
  2. ^ "Gyrus". The free dictionary. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  3. ^ Weiner et al. The mid-fusiform sulcus: A landmark identifying both cyotarchitectonic and functional divisions of human ventral temporal cortex. NeuroImage. 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.08.068
  4. ^ Weiner & Grill-Spector, Sparsely-distributed organization of face and limb activations in human ventral temporal cortex. NeuroImage. 2010 Oct 1;52(4):1559–73. Epub 2010 May 10.
  5. ^ Nasr el al. Scene-selective cortical regions in human and nonhuman primates. J Neurosci. 2011 Sep 28;31(39):13771–85.
  6. ^ McCarthy, G et al. Face-specific processing in the fuman fusform gyrus.J. Cognitive Neuroscicence. 9, 605–610(1997).
  7. ^ A. L. Reiss, et al. Preliminary Evidence Of Abnormal White Matter Related To The Fusiform Gyrus In Williams Syndrome: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Tractography Study.Genes, Brain & Behavior 11.1, 62–68(2012)
  8. ^ Radua, Joaquim; Phillips, Mary L.; Russell, Tamara; Lawrence, Natalia; Marshall, Nicolette; Kalidindi, Sridevi; El-Hage, Wissam; McDonald, Colm; Giampietro, Vincent (2010). "Neural response to specific components of fearful faces in healthy and schizophrenic adults". NeuroImage 49 (1): 939–946. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.08.030. PMID 19699306. 
  9. ^ Carter, Rita. The Human Brain Book. p. 241. 
  10. ^ Jan Dirk Blom. A Dictionary of Hallucinations. Springer, 2010, p. 187. ISBN 978-1-4419-1222-0
  11. ^ Imaging of connectivity in the synaesthetic brain « Neurophilosophy
  12. ^ Trafton, A. "How does our brain know what is a face and what’s not?" MIT News

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