Functional imaging during recognition of personally familiar faces and places in Alzheimer's disease.
This study examined the neural substrates of facial familiarity and person-knowledge. Based on current neural models of face perception, it was hypothesized that distinct extended networks of brain regions differentiate the perception of (a) novel faces, (b) novel faces associated with person-knowledge, (c) perceptually familiar faces and (d) familiar faces for which person-knowledge was learned. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment during which participants viewed faces experimentally manipulated to represent these different levels of familiarity. Results confirmed that distinct networks of brain regions, particularly the medial prefrontal cortex, underlie the perception of faces for which person-knowledge is available.