Recent study unlocked the code that allows the brain to recognize any face using a surprisingly small number of neurons. The discovery opens new perspectives for research exploring the functions of other cerebral areas that are associated with object recognition, as well as non-visual sensory systems such as taste and touch.
From a clinical point of view, these results could shed light on the origin of prosopagnosia, a pathology whose sufferers find it difficult or even impossible to identify or memorize human faces. In addition, this code could have applications in forensic medicine, for example in the production of facial composites. It is extremely difficult for a witness to describe a face precisely in words, down to its smallest details—especially when in a state of shock.
Neuroscientist Lucie Bard explains this breakthrough. Read more.