Posted on 7 March 2012
If you compare wedding photographs with holiday snaps, you'll have no trouble identifying friends' and relatives' faces even though the changes in expression, hairstyles, makeup, lighting etc. make the pictures look very different. It is far less easy to identify the same face if it belongs to a stranger. Yet new research from the Jodie Davies-Thompson, Kath Newling and Tim Andrews shows that, in a group of brain regions which are known to be specialised for processing faces, responses to changing images of familiar and unfamiliar faces are surprisingly similar. The explanation for our very different experiences of familiar faces may lie elsewhere. The article appears in Cerebral Cortex.