News Release

Widespread brain connections enable face recognition

Connectivity between 'face network,' social, visual, and auditory circuits predicts memory of a familiar face

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Society for Neuroscience

Multifaceted Integration

image: Figure 1. Individual centers of the seven ventral face ROIs. ATL - anterior temporal lobe face region (blue), FFA - fusiform face area (right - red, left - orange), OFA - occipital face area (right - green, left - yellow). Right amygdala shown in purple, left amygdala in cyan. view more 

Credit: Ramot <em>et al., JNeurosci</em> (2019)

Remembering a familiar face engages a wider network of brain regions than previously thought, according to a study of healthy men and women published in JNeurosci.

First described in JNeurosci more than 20 years ago, the fusiform face area is a major component of a group of brain regions specialized for face perception known as the face network. The ability to recognize familiar faces varies, from individuals who are "face blind" to those with above-average facial recognition.

Michal Ramot and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health found that strength of connections within the face network were not associated with memory for faces. By taking a broader view of the brain, the researchers demonstrate connectivity between the face network and other circuits involved in memory and processing of social, visual, and auditory information predicted participants' performance on a facial memory task. These findings suggest face recognition involves the integration of facial features with the social and multisensory context in which they appear in everyday life.


Manuscript title: Multifaceted Integration: Memory for Faces Is Subserved by Widespread Connections Between Visual, Memory, Auditory, and Social Networks*

*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on bioRxiv

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About JNeurosci

JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.

About The Society for Neuroscience

The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.

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