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Poster B19

Brain networks underwriting face pareidolia

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Valentina Romagnano1 (, Julian Kubon1, Alexander N. Sokolov1, Andreas J. Fallgatter1, Christoph Braun2, Marina A. Pavlova1; 1Medical School and University Hospital, Tübingen Center for Mental Health (TüCMH), Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, 2MEG Center, Medical School and University Hospital, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Face pareidolia is a tendency to seeing faces in non-face images such as waves or landscapes that reflects high tuning to a face scheme. Yet studies of the brain networks underwriting face pareidolia are trickle and rather controversial. Here, we analyzed the time course and dynamic topography of gamma oscillatory neuromagnetic activity while non-face images resembling a face were presented either with canonical orientation or with display inversion that heavily impedes face pareidolia. At early processing stages, the peaks in gamma oscillatory responses (35-45 Hz) for images triggering face pareidolia or not originated mainly from the right medioventral and lateral occipital cortices, rostral and caudal cuneus gyri, and medial superior occipital gyrus. Yet the difference occurs at later processing stages (beyond 600 ms) in the higher-frequency range of 80-85 Hz over a set of the areas constituting the social brain such as the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (STS) and insular gyrus communicating with each other. The findings speak for a relatively late-established neural network playing a decisive role in face pareidolia.

Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Other


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April 13–16  |  2024