Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fusiform Face Area

Faces are among the most important visual stimuli we perceive, informing us not only about a person’s identity, but also about their mood, sex, age and direction of gaze. The ability to extract this information within a fraction of a second of viewing a face is important for normal social interactions. We have recently learned about fusiform face area which is a region of the brain that plays a major role in face perception. Fusiform face area engages both in detected faces and determining the perceptual information to recognize them. Ever since I was young I was very good with recognizing people and names no matter how long ago it may have been since I have last seen them and also am very good at reading people’s emotions although they may believe they are hiding them. I found it interesting in the fact that such a small part of our brain plays the role in identifying not only faces but places and things as well. The fusiform face area gave me the ability to associate this certain saying with a memory of a best friend of mine that I will never forget. Without this process we wouldn’t have the abilities to recall certain information we find important to our memory and those who are important to us.

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