Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Scientific Reports


Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


Personally familiar faces are processed more robustly and efficiently than unfamiliar faces. The human face processing system comprises a core system that analyzes the visual appearance of faces and an extended system for the retrieval of person-knowledge and other nonvisual information. We applied multivariate pattern analysis to fMRI data to investigate aspects of familiarity that are shared by all familiar identities and information that distinguishes specific face identities from each other. Both identity-independent familiarity information and face identity could be decoded in an overlapping set of areas in the core and extended systems. Representational similarity analysis revealed a clear distinction between the two systems and a subdivision of the core system into ventral, dorsal and anterior components. This study provides evidence that activity in the extended system carries information about both individual identities and personal familiarity, while clarifying and extending the organization of the core system for face perception.



Original Citation

Visconti di Oleggio Castello, M., Halchenko, Y.O., Guntupalli, J.S. et al. The neural representation of personally familiar and unfamiliar faces in the distributed system for face perception. Sci Rep 7, 12237 (2017).