But trying to understand the neural basis for this in humans has been inconclusive, so researchers based at The Rockefeller University conducted a study involving macaques - which are close evolutionary cousins whose face processing networks are better understood and easier to study than our own.
The researchers, Dr Winrich Freiwald, head of the Laboratory of Neural Systems, and Sofia Landi, a graduate student in the lab, used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the brain activity of rhesus macaques as they responded to pictures of other monkeys' faces.
Because these areas are located in regions of the brain that are associated with different kinds of information, these novel areas should also provide an inroad to understanding cognitive and perceptual processes that go well beyond vision.'It opens a window to explore the interaction between face perception, memory, and social knowledge,' says Dr Landi, who is already working on new experiments designed to do precisely that.
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The newly discovered areas first showed little or no initial increase in activity, followed by a sudden surge - an all-or-nothing response that Dr Landi calls 'the sudden "aha" moment' we experience when we recognize a familiar face The new findings will allow the researchers to further investigate the brain mechanisms that underlie face recognition, and how the brain responds to different kinds of familiarity.
'We’ll now be able to study these things with much more precision than was possible before,' Dr Freiwald says.
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The newly discovered areas first showed little or no initial increase in activity, followed by a sudden surge - an all-or-nothing response that Dr Landi calls 'the sudden "aha" moment' we experience when we recognize a familiar face.The faces fell in three categories: personally familiar ones; visually familiar ones whose pictures they had seen hundreds of times; and totally unfamiliar ones Researchers have long known that the brain contains a network of areas that respond selectively to faces as opposed to other kinds of objects, and they also know that human process familiar and unfamiliar faces differently.For example, we're good at recognizing pictures of familiar faces when when they're disguised by poor lighting or shot at odd angles, but we struggle to recognize even slightly altered images of the same face when it is unfamiliar to us - for example, two pictures of a stranger we've never seen before, for instance, shown from different perspective or in dim light.Once you decide you're going to give it a shot, the first thing you need to do is create your profile.See the next page to get started, and learn what online dating is like, find out how (and if) it works and get some helpful tips on making your online dating experience safe and successful.