Monday, April 10, 2006

Face Recognition

Two articles in recent days discuss what's happening in the brain when people are looking at faces.

This one from the BBC refers to a study from the University of London of 32 people - 16 with ASDs - that suggests that in people with ASDs "the face-processing areas of the brain are not well connected to those parts of the brain that control attention - such as the frontal and parietal regions. " The headline is "Weak BrainLinks 'Explain Autism'"and refers to "abnormalities".

Another article from Science Daily refers to research at Georgetown University which "adds new evidence to the debate over how the brain understands and interprets faces, an area of neuroscience that has been somewhat controversial. Because the process of facial perception is complicated and involves different and widespread areas of the brain, there is much that remains unknown about how humans perform this task...Maximilian Riesenhuber hopes that integrative research of this kind will help scientists better understand the neural bases of object recognition deficits in mental disorders, such as autism, dyslexia or schizophrenia. People with autism, for example, experience difficulty with recognizing faces, which might be caused by a defect on the neural level. Breakthroughs in this kind of research could someday lead to targeted therapies for the millions of people who suffer from these disorders.
“The findings are exciting because we are now going to apply this technique to probe the neural bases of face perception deficits in autism,” Riesenhuber said.

The Science Daily article also has links to related articles on this subject.

No comments: