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Human Face Recognition Study Image 3
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Human Face Recognition Study (Image 3)

June 23, 2010
Human Face Recognition Study (Image 3) Example of an ongoing fMRI study investigating how learning an object recognition task (in this case, categorization of cars generated with a computer graphics morphing system) "reprograms" the brain to improve performance on the task. The left part of the figure shows a brain area found in trained subjects that is selective to cars, very much in the same way the "fusiform face area" shown in the right is selective for human faces. Image courtesy of NSF based on our data. [Note: The color scale shows a measure of statistical significance (z-value). The lighter the color, the more significant the activation. The blue lines are drawn for illustration to show the center of the region of interest.] This research was conducted by Maximilian Riesenhuber, a neuroscientist at Georgetown University Medical Center, who is working to better understand how the human brain functions when recognizing objects. He published data in the April 6 issue of Neuron that suggested the human brain uses the same mechanisms for recognizing face and non-face objects. Riesenhuber's research is partly funded by the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) program, a joint effort of the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. The program supports innovative, interdisciplinary research that will yield a better understanding of how nervous systems function normally as well as when diseased. By fostering new collaborations among computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians and neuroscientists, CRCNS facilitates the development of new methods and computational tools to help explain complex biological processes. For more information on Riesenhuber's facial recognition research, visit his Web site, The Laboratory for Computational Cognitive Neuroscience. (Date of Image: March 2006) [Image 3 of 4 related images. See Image 4.]


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