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Brain Needs to Remember Faces in Three Dimensions - featured September 14, 2010

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ScienceDaily (Sep. 10, 2010) — In our dynamic 3-D world, we can encounter a familiar face from any angle and still recognize that face with ease, even if the person has, for example, changed his hair style. This is because our brain has used the 2-D snapshots perceived by our eyes (like a camera) to build and store a 3-D mental representation of the face, which is resilient to such changes.

This is an automatic process that most of us are not consciously aware of, and which appears to be a challenge for people with a particular type of face-blindness, as reported in the September 2010 issue of Elsevier's Cortex.

Prosopagnosia is a condition in which the ability to recognize faces is impaired; it can arise from damage to the brain or can also be present from early childhood, without any discernible brain damage. The latter is known as Developmental Prosopagnosia (DP) and in many cases it runs in families.

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Tags: News of the Week Visual Perception Newsletter 17 September 2010