Little AC, Jones BC & DeBruine LM (2011). The many faces of research on face perception. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366(1571): 1634-1637. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0386

Face perception is fundamental to human social interaction. Many different types of important information are visible in faces and the processes and mechanisms involved in extracting this information are complex and can be highly specialized. The importance of faces has long been recognized by a wide range of scientists. Importantly, the range of perspectives and techniques that this breadth has brought to face perception research has, in recent years, led to many important advances in our understanding of face processing. The articles in this issue on face perception each review a particular arena of interest in face perception, variously focusing on (i) the social aspects of face perception (attraction, recognition and emotion), (ii) the neural mechanisms underlying face perception (using brain scanning, patient data, direct stimulation of the brain, visual adaptation and single-cell recording), and (iii) comparative aspects of face perception (comparing adult human abilities with those of chimpanzees and children). Here, we introduce the central themes of the issue and present an overview of the articles.

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