The brain learns faces faster in person


Experimental paradigm and EEG analysis methods. Credit: Ambrus et al., JNeurosci 2021

Neural representation of a familiar face strengthens more quickly when you see someone in person, according to a new study published in JNeurosci.

They love the brain There is even an interconnected network of brain areas dedicated to face processing. Despite all the research on how the brain sees faces, little is known about how the neuronal representation of a face changes as it becomes familiar.

To track how familiar brain signals change, Ambrus et al. measured participants activity with EEG before and after meeting different faces. Participants were exposed to faces in one of three ways: perceptual exposure (a classification game), (watching a TV show) and in person (chatting with lab members). A shake of appeared in the EEG about 400 milliseconds after seeing a face; the strength of the signal was tied to the familiarity of the face. The type of exposure affected how much the signal changed: personal exposure strengthened it more, followed by media exposure. Perceptual exposure had very little impact on the familiarity signal.

These results emphasize the importance of face-to-face interactions when meeting new people.

The facial recognition area of ​​the brain does not differentiate group members

More information:
Getting to know you: emerging neural representations during facial familiarization, JNeurosci (2021). DOI: 10.1523 / JNEUROSCI.2466-20.2021

Citation: The brain learns faces faster in person (2021, May 24), retrieved May 24, 2021 at

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