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Dr Pamela Lyon
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Email: Pamela Lyon
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In the News

Face Recognition

 

To understand whether a particular behaviour is unique to humans, comparative data is essential and behavioural studies aren’t enough. Human face recognition involves highly specialized neural processes that enable us to recognize specific individuals. Behavioural data suggests our nearest ape relative has very similar capacities, whereas macaques are somewhat different. Whole-brain analysis now reveals that all the areas of the human brain active in face recognition are also active in chimps when they recognize individuals by their faces. The evidence suggests that the last common ancestor of macques, chimps and humans did have a set of neurocognitive mechanisms for processing faces, but that additional mechanisms evolved in the common ancestry of chimps and humans. Current Biology 19:50-53