Dyer face recognition

Dyer face recognition - The Journal of Experimental Biology...

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4709 There is considerable interest in the mechanisms that facilitate recognition of human faces (Bruce, 1988; Kanwisher, 2000; Tarr and Cheng, 2003; Duchaine et al., 2004). It has been suggested that the human brain may have specialised regions to allow for the processing of faces (Kanwisher et al., 1997; Kanwisher, 2000; Duchaine et al., 2004). For example, using fMRI imaging techniques, the fusiform gyrus region of the human brain shows increased activity when human subjects view face images but not control images such as other animals (Kanwisher et al., 1997; Kanwisher, 2000). It has also been observed that human subjects show a disproportionate deficit for recognising faces when a stimulus is rotated by 180° (Yin, 1969; Bartlett and Searcy, 1993; Campbell et al., 1997; Pascalis et al., 2002; Duchaine et al., 2004). Furthermore, subjects suffering a condition known as prosopagnosia, which is a severe deficit in recognising faces, are reported to have normal processing of other classes of objects, such as artificial, computer-generated creatures called ‘greebles’ (Duchaine et al., 2004). The apparent specialised ability of the human brain for recognising the faces of conspecifics has been suggested as being important to the complex social interactions of humans (Pierce et al., 2001). The evidence for a special region of the human brain for processing faces has recently been challenged, however, by data showing that the fusiform gyrus in subjects who have a particular field of expertise, for example bird watchers or car experts, also shows increased activity when these subjects view stimuli from their specific class of expertise (Gauthier et al., 2000; Tarr and Gauthier, 2000). In addition, a fMRI study of subjects with autism shows that face processing can be reliably facilitated by regions of the brain other than the fusiform gyrus (Pierce et al., 2001). Other animals, including invertebrates, are able to recognise conspecifics using facial cues (Kendrick et al., 2001; Tibbetts, 2002; Tibbetts and Dale, 2004). For example, individual paper wasps ( Polistes fuscatus ) are able to recognise the facial features of other individual wasps to help maintain a strong social order within a hive (Tibbetts, 2002). However, even in humans it is currently not clear whether face recognition requires specialised, species-specific neuronal circuitry, or if face recognition might be a learned expertise, as a result of extensive experience with a certain class of visual stimuli (Tarr and Cheng, 2003). In the present study, the honeybee ( Apis mellifera ) was used as an animal model that has not been exposed to evolutionary pressure for recognising human faces but does have impressive pattern recognition and cognitive abilities that might facilitate the task (Gould, 1985; Lehrer, 1997; Chittka et al., 2003; Stach et al., 2004; Dyer and Chittka, The Journal of Experimental Biology 208, 4709-4714 Published by The Company of Biologists 2005 doi:10.1242/jeb.01929 Recognising individuals using facial cues is an important ability. There is evidence that the mammalian brain may have specialised neural circuitry for face recognition tasks, although some recent work questions these findings. Thus, to understand if recognising human
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Dyer face recognition - The Journal of Experimental Biology...

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