Testing the connections within face processing circuitry in Capgras delusion with diffusion imaging tractography

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Abstract

Although Capgras delusion (CD) patients are capable of recognizing familiar faces, they present a delusional belief that some relatives have been replaced by impostors. CD has been explained as a selective disruption of a pathway processing affective values of familiar faces. To test the integrity of connections within face processing circuitry, diffusion tensor imaging was performed in a CD patient and 10 age-matched controls. Voxel-based morphometry indicated gray matter damage in right frontal areas. Tractography was used to examine two important tracts of the face processing circuitry: the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF) and the inferior longitudinal (ILF). The superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF) and commissural tracts were also assessed. CD patient did not differ from controls in the commissural fibers, or the SLF. Right and left ILF, and right IFOF were also equivalent to those of controls. However, the left IFOF was significantly reduced respect to controls, also showing a significant dissociation with the ILF, which represents a selective impairment in the fiber-tract connecting occipital and frontal areas. This suggests a possible involvement of the IFOF in affective processing of faces in typical observers and in covert recognition in some cases with prosopagnosia.

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Bobes, M. A., Góngora, D., Valdes, A., Santos, Y., Acosta, Y., Fernandez Garcia, Y., … Valdés-Sosa, M. (2016). Testing the connections within face processing circuitry in Capgras delusion with diffusion imaging tractography. NeuroImage: Clinical, 11, 30–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2016.01.006

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