Face-selective cells in the temporal cortex of monkeys

J Cogn Neurosci. 1991 Winter;3(1):1-8. doi: 10.1162/jocn.1991.3.1.1.


The notion of a neuron that responds selectively to the image of a particular complex object has been controversial ever since Gross and his colleagues reported neurons in the temporal cortex of monkeys that were selective for the sight of a monkey's hand (Gross, Rocha-Miranda, & Bender, 1972). Since that time, evidence has mounted for neurons in the temporal lobe that respond selectively to faces. The present paper presents a critical analysis of the evidence for face neurons and discusses the implications of these neurons for models of object recognition. The paper also presents some possible reasons for the evolution of face neurons and suggests some analogies with the development of language in humans.