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Brain Res. 1985 Sep 2;342(1):91-102.

Selectivity between faces in the responses of a population of neurons in the cortex in the superior temporal sulcus of the monkey.

Abstract

There is a population of neurons in the cortex in the middle and anterior part of the superior temporal sulcus (STS) of the monkey with responses which are selective for faces. If, consistent with the effects of damage to the temporal lobe, these neurons are involved in face recognition or in making appropriate social responses to different individuals, then it might be expected that at least some of these neurons might respond differently to different faces. To investigate whether at least some of these neurons do respond differently to different faces, their responses were measured to a standard set of faces, presented in random sequence using a video framestore. It was found that a considerable proportion of the neurons with face-selective responses tested (34/44 or 77%) responded differently to different faces, as shown by analyses of variance. An index of the discriminability of the most and least effective face stimulus (d') ranged between 0.2 and 5.0 for the different neurons. Although these neurons often responded differently to different faces, they did not usually respond to only one of the faces in the set, so that information that a particular face had been shown was present across an ensemble of neurons, rather than in the responses of an individual neuron. These findings indicate that the responses of these neurons would be useful in providing information on which different behavioral responses made to different faces could be based. These neurons could thus be filters, the output of which could be used for recognition of different individuals and in emotional responses made to different individuals.

PMID:
4041820
DOI:
10.1016/0006-8993(85)91356-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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