The brain's prefrontal cortex may hold the key to our ability to recognize and remember one another.
Patricia S. Goldman-Rakic, Ph.D., of neurobiology, and her colleagues have pinpointed an area of the brain that retrieves information about faces and facial expressions from memory. Their findings were reported in the Nov. 7 issue of the journal Science.
The research team showed macaque monkeys pictures of human faces and objects, and measured the electrical impulses in different areas of the brain. Research results showed that neurons clustered in an area of the inferior prefrontal cortex responded only to pictures of faces and to no other stimuli. The team further found that the prefrontal cortex was able to maintain information about the faces even after the stimuli were removed.