How face perception unfolds over time
Author(s)Dobs, Katharina B; Isik, Leyla; Pantazis, Dimitrios; Kanwisher, Nancy
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Within a fraction of a second of viewing a face, we have already determined its gender, age and identity. A full understanding of this remarkable feat will require a characterization of the computational steps it entails, along with the representations extracted at each. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the time course of neural responses to faces, thereby addressing two fundamental questions about how face processing unfolds over time. First, using representational similarity analysis, we found that facial gender and age information emerged before identity information, suggesting a coarse-to-fine processing of face dimensions. Second, identity and gender representations of familiar faces were enhanced very early on, suggesting that the behavioral benefit for familiar faces results from tuning of early feed-forward processing mechanisms. These findings start to reveal the time course of face processing in humans, and provide powerful new constraints on computational theories of face perception. ©2019, The Author(s).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT; Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines
Dobs, Katharina et al., "How face perception unfolds over time." Nature Communications 10, 1 (March 2019): no. 1258 doi. 10.1038/s41467-019-09239-1 ©2019 Author(s)
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