Neural Encoding Principles in Face Perception Revealed Using Non-Primate Models

Keith M. Kendrick and Jianfeng Feng

in Oxford Handbook of Face Perception

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199559053
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Neural Encoding Principles in Face Perception Revealed Using Non-Primate Models


Specialized neural systems for encoding faces and face emotion cues are found in sheep which are very similar to those described in human and non-human primates. Sheep exhibit highly sophisticated face identity and face emotion discrimination skills, use configural cues, and also show right hemisphere dominance in face processing. Findings provide evidence for both sparse and population-based encoding with small populations of cells encoding selectively for specific individuals or categories of individual but nevertheless with widespread and overlapping neuronal activity changes occurring across temporal cortex networks during the presentation of different faces. A number of studies have been carried out to map the neuroanatomical substrates involved in face recognition in sheep using quantification of expression changes in gene markers of neural activation. The face recognition system brings into sharp focus the ongoing debate as to whether sparse or population based codes or both are operating in the various cortical and subcortical networks involved.

Keywords: neural system; non-human primates; face processing; cells encoding; gene markers

Article.  7004 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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