A specialized face-processing network consistent with the representational geometry of monkey face patches

02/04/2015 ∙ by Amirhossein Farzmahdi, et al. ∙ 0

Ample evidence suggests that face processing in human and non-human primates is performed differently compared with other objects. Converging reports, both physiologically and psychophysically, indicate that faces are processed in specialized neural networks in the brain -i.e. face patches in monkeys and the fusiform face area (FFA) in humans. We are all expert face-processing agents, and able to identify very subtle differences within the category of faces, despite substantial visual and featural similarities. Identification is performed rapidly and accurately after viewing a whole face, while significantly drops if some of the face configurations (e.g. inversion, misalignment) are manipulated or if partial views of faces are shown due to occlusion. This refers to a hotly-debated, yet highly-supported concept, known as holistic face processing. We built a hierarchical computational model of face-processing based on evidence from recent neuronal and behavioural studies on faces processing in primates. Representational geometries of the last three layers of the model have characteristics similar to those observed in monkey face patches (posterior, middle and anterior patches). Furthermore, several face-processing-related phenomena reported in the literature automatically emerge as properties of this model. The representations are evolved through several computational layers, using biologically plausible learning rules. The model satisfies face inversion effect, composite face effect, other race effect, view and identity selectivity, and canonical face views. To our knowledge, no models have so far been proposed with this performance and agreement with biological data.

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