Humans and Macaques Employ Similar Face-Processing Strategies

Christoph D. Dahl, Christian Wallraven, Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Nikos K. Logothetis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Primates developed the ability to recognize and individuate their conspecifics by the face. Despite numerous electrophysiological studies in monkeys [1-3], little is known about the face-processing strategies that monkeys employ. In contrast, face perception in humans has been the subject of many studies [4-6] providing evidence for specific face processing that evolves with perceptual expertise [7]. Importantly, humans process faces holistically, here defined as the processing of faces as wholes, rather than as collections of independent features (part-based processing) [8]. The question remains to what extent humans and monkeys share these face-processing mechanisms. By using the same experimental design and stimuli for both monkey and human behavioral experiments, we show that face processing is influenced by the species affiliation of the observed face stimulus (human versus macaque face). Furthermore, stimulus manipulations that selectively reduced holistic and part-based information systematically altered eye-scanning patterns for human and macaque observers similarly. These results demonstrate the similar nature of face perception in humans and monkeys and pin down effects of expert face-processing versus novice face-processing strategies. These findings therefore directly contribute to one of the central discussions in the behavioral and neurosciences about how faces are perceived in primates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-513
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 24 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Macaca
Processing
Haplorhini
monkeys
Primates
Design of experiments
Aptitude
Neurosciences
neurophysiology
pins
Scanning
Research Design
eyes
experimental design

Keywords

  • SYSNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Humans and Macaques Employ Similar Face-Processing Strategies. / Dahl, Christoph D.; Wallraven, Christian; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Logothetis, Nikos K.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 19, No. 6, 24.03.2009, p. 509-513.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dahl, CD, Wallraven, C, Bülthoff, HH & Logothetis, NK 2009, 'Humans and Macaques Employ Similar Face-Processing Strategies', Current Biology, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 509-513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2009.01.061
Dahl, Christoph D. ; Wallraven, Christian ; Bülthoff, Heinrich H. ; Logothetis, Nikos K. / Humans and Macaques Employ Similar Face-Processing Strategies. In: Current Biology. 2009 ; Vol. 19, No. 6. pp. 509-513.
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