Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finding A Face in A Crowd

I think it's funny how often I can spot my sweetheart in a crowd. I'll see someone familiar out of the corner of my eye and there he is.
As we walk along a city street, it takes no effort to recognize the face of a friend in the crowd. But the ease of the feat masks its cognitive complexity—all faces have eyes, noses and mouths in the same relative place and can bear an array of emotional expressions. For decades, scientists have debated the basis for our facility with faces: either human brains evolved specialized face-processing machinery, distinct from regions that deal with other objects, or they process all objects using an expansive, multipurpose network, merely developing an expertise for faces. Two experiments have now clarified this perennial dispute by uncovering a distinct network that is indeed dedicated to faces.
Via Scientific American

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