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The Science of Social Vision$
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Reginald B. Adams, Nalini Ambady, Ken Nakayama, and Shinsuke Shimojo

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.001.0001

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Are People Special? A Brain’s Eye View

Are People Special? A Brain’s Eye View

Chapter:
(p.363) Chapter 21 Are People Special? A Brain’s Eye View
Source:
The Science of Social Vision
Author(s):

Anthony P. Atkinson

Andrea S. Heberlein

Ralph Adolphs

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.003.0022

This chapter considers the question of what it means for social perception and cognition to be special, and whether there are psychological processes and neural structures that are specialized for social perception and cognition. It illustrates how the human brain treats other people as special visual categories. There are visual regions selective for faces, bodies, and biological motion, and these are functionally specialized for processing visual cues that underpin our abilities to perceive and understand other peoples' states and traits, intentions, and actions. Such abilities depend on a complex interaction of these regions of occipital and temporal cortices with a number of other cortical and subcortical structures, in a way that we are only just beginning to understand.

Keywords:   social perception, cognition, biological motion, visual regions, faces, brain

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