Seminar Series

Specialized brain mechanisms for the processing of faces

It is often argued that faces are processed by specialized mechanisms. I will first review evidence for the existence of face-specific processing mechanisms from behavioral data, functional MRI and electrophysiology (Event-Related Potentials). These methods provide complementary information about the way information is processed in the brain. It is therefore important to determine whether they all reflect the same face-selective mechanism. Our data show that face-selective fMRI markers are strongly associated with cognitive markers of face-selective mechanisms. Furthermore, a simultaneous fMRI-ERP study reveals strong associations between face-selective fMRI regions and event-related potentials. Based on these findings, I will propose an integrated theory on how, where and when faces are represented at early stages of visual processing.