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Published February 2010 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Object Recognition: Physiological and Computational Insights


Face perception is a microcosm of object recognition processes. The most difficult challenge in object recognition—distinguishing among similar visual forms despite substantial changes in appearance arising from changes in position, illumination, occlusion, etc.—is something we can do effortlessly for faces. Although face identification is often singled out as demanding particular sensitivity to differences between objects sharing a common basic configuration, in fact, such differences must be represented in the brain for both faces and nonface objects. This chapter argues that understanding face processing will illuminate the general problem of visual object recognition. It begins by discussing the functional architecture of the temporal lobe, with a special focus on the architecture of the system of face-selective areas in macaques and humans. It then discusses the physiology of cells in the temporal lobe, with a focus on the response properties of face-selective cells. Finally, it discusses different computational approaches to object recognition.

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© 2010 Oxford University Press.

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