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francescamarangell's picture

Identifying Faces

I began reading articles on the internet about car sickness and the body’s natural response, when I came across an interesting yet unrelated article about faces and how the mind registers faces. It is believed that there is a special region of the brain that is specifically correlated to face recognition. This theory was presented when a man who had experienced a stroke showed difficulties identifying faces. A test was conducted where monkeys were shown regular objects, such as a banana or a book and their brains were monitored with fMRI. Then the monkeys were presented with images of faces, and their brains were again monitored. The highlighted regions of the brain were very clear. When a face was presented versus when a non face was presented, a specific region of the brain showed activation. Furthermore, when ordinary objects such as a shell or a tissue were configured in such ways that a face could be identified within a non-face that same region of the brain was activated but on a lesser level. Faces are an image that we see and interact with frequently. The image of a face, and the characteristics of a face are remembered within our brains, so when a non-face exhibits specific face-like patterns, our brain is able to identify those patterns as a face.

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