Navigation Links
Recognition at first glance
Date:7/1/2010

We meet a multitude of people on a daily basis: the nice waitress in the coffee shop around the corner, the bus driver or the colleagues at the office. Without the ability to recognize faces at first glance we would not be able to distinguish between people. Monkeys also possess the remarkable ability to differentiate faces of group members and to extract the relevant information about the individual directly from the face. With the help of the so called Thatcher illusion, scientists of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tbingen, Germany, have examined how people and macaque monkeys recognize faces and process the information in the brain. They found out that both species perceive the faces of their kin immediately, while the faces of the other species are processed in a different way.

"From an early age on we are accustomed to the faces of other humans: a long nose, the swing of the lips or the bushy eyebrows. We learn to recognize the small differences which contribute to an individual appearance", explains Christoph Dahl, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics". It is similar in monkeys. They learn to recognize the features of their fellow monkeys (so called conspecifics) and can grasp the identity of every group member quickly. "However in humans, as well as in macaque monkeys, this principle only works with individuals of the same kind", says Dahl. Even though the recognition of conspecific faces is achieved by means of holistic processing, the separate parts such as mouth, nose and eyes as well as the facial proportions are still important. "Although we look at the eyes first our neural functions still grasp the whole picture", Christoph Dahl describes the processing mechanisms behind the facial recognition.

With the help of the "Thatcher illusion" the scientists examined the facial recognition of macaque monkeys and humans. Local changes in facial features are hardly noticeable when the whole face is upside down, but strikingly grotesque when the face is right side up. "The faces in which the eyes and the mouth were rotated 180 degrees look grotesque - but only if we see them the right side up. Upside-down the differences between a normal face and a 'thacherized' face are hardly recognizable", explains Christian Wallraven, one of the scientists involved in the study. The effect can be explained by the lack of processing capabilities for locally rotated facial features when the face is turned upside down. The holistic processing mechanisms allow us to recognize fine changes in the arrangement of the separate facial parts. If the whole face is rotated 180 degrees, this ability gets lost.

The usual recognition mechanisms do not function with either inverted faces or with the faces of foreign species. The scientists discovered that the Thatcher illusion in macaque monkeys only works for the faces of their conspecifics, while they paid no special attention to the extremely grotesque human faces. Vice versa it behaved the same with humans for whom the manipulated monkey faces remained inconspicuous. "It must have been of great advantage for us as well as for our next relatives, the monkeys, in the course of the evolution to recognize especially the faces of our kind and also to develop similar processing mechanisms." Wallraven sums up. Besides, the ability to recognize faces on the first sight, the holistic processing opens another possibility: the identification of different conspecifics with in no time.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Christoph Dahl
christoph.dahl@tuebingen.mpg.de
49-707-160-1610
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. ASGE recognizes 48 endoscopy units for quality as part of its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program
2. Nursefinders Announces “Best Nurses of Baltimore” Recognition Program
3. Prestigious recognition award recipients announced by AGA
4. Medical Billers Celebrate Official Day Of Recognition On March 25, 2010 - USA
5. US Wellness, Inc. Receives National Recognition for Laboratory Excellence
6. Zimmer Receives Recognition for Health Economics Data Presented at 77th Annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Meeting
7. Quantros Releases Video in Recognition of National Patient Safety Week
8. Pelosi Statement in Recognition of Women’s History Month
9. Christiana Care Health System Achieves Magnet(R) Recognition
10. Patients with Lethal Lung Disease Finally Receive Recognition by Social Security Administration
11. The Garlands of Barrington Earns International Recognition, Residents Reap the Benefits of Award-Winning EngAGE Lifestyle
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Recognition at first glance
(Date:6/26/2016)... North Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... release of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. ... for centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Austin, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... Fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for ... popular and highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern ... Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He ... Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June ... with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking ... common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) learned ... receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance research and ... by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in fighting pulmonary ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken ... regulators/payers have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... support programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved ... Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more ... providing products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ: ... novel therapeutics for the treatment of grievous blood-based ... closing of its previously announced underwritten public offering ... public offering price of $18.75 per share. All ... by GBT. GBT estimates net proceeds from the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin ... of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" ... This report focuses on the global ... including its applications in various applications. The report deals ... three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: