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Is the brain wired for faces?

ance Imaging (fMRI) machine, a high-powered imaging technology that can measure the brain activity of test subjects, and by other behavioral techniques. Subjects were shown pairs of images of similar human faces that had been morphed using computer graphics software, while the researchers observed how brain activation changed for more or less similar pairs of faces.

They found that a small group of neurons in the "fusiform face area," an area of the brain generally thought to be responsible for face recognition, was highly selective for different faces, just as the model predicted they would behave.

"We knew that the fusiform face area is highly involved and necessary for us to understand faces, but we did not know what kind of processing was going on inside that 'black box'," he said. "By using a computational model to quantitatively link neuronal processing, brain imaging and behavior, we now have a mechanistic model describing which neurons are involved and how they are behaving when we look at faces."

Other authors on the paper include Xiong Jiang, PhD, Ezra Rosen, John VanMeter, PhD, and Tom Zeffiro, PhD, from Georgetown University Medical Center and Volker Blanz, from the Max-Planck-Institute in Germany.


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Source:Georgetown University Medical Center


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