News | Neuro Imaging | February 06, 2017

MRI Reveals Facial Recognition Part of Brain Continues to Grow in Adulthood

Study finds that while facial identification improves with age, place recognition stays the same

qMRI, facial recognition, brain region growth, adulthood, Science journal study

February 1, 2017 — In humans, the part of the brain that's responsible for face recognition continues to grow into adulthood, according to a new study published in Science. The results are surprising, since brain development is largely thought to involve synaptic pruning, rather than growth. The ability to recognize faces, which is critical for everyday social interactions, improves from childhood to adulthood.

In seeking to better understand brain activity behind facial recognition, Jesse Gomez et al. used quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) to compare brain tissue across individuals. In 22 children and 25 adults, they compared recognition test results of faces and places with qMRI data that corresponds with the respective brain regions.

Intriguingly, the region of the brain that helps people recognize faces was found to increase in relative size in adults, while the region that helps people recognize places was found to stay the same. These results were confirmed in the postmortem analysis of adult brains. Modeling suggests that changes in myelination, the fatty white substance that surrounds the axons of some nerve cells, is not sufficient alone to explain this expansion of the brain region. Thus the authors propose that it may be caused by an increase in cell bodies, dendritic structures and myelin sheath.

For more information: www.science.sciencemag.org

References

Gomez, J., Barnett, M.A., Natu, V., Mezer, A., et al. "Microstructural proliferation in human cortex is coupled with the development of face processing," Science. Published Jan. 6, 2017. DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0311

Related Content

Amazon Comprehend Medical Brings Medical Language Processing to Healthcare
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 15, 2019
Amazon recently announced Amazon Comprehend Medical, a new HIPAA-eligible machine learning service that allows...
Videos | Radiation Therapy | February 15, 2019
ITN Associate Editor Jeff Zagoudis speaks with Vinai Gondi, M.D., director of research and CNS neuro-oncology at the
Siemens Healthineers Demonstrates Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare Digitalization at HIMSS19
News | Artificial Intelligence | February 13, 2019
February 13, 2019 — At the 2019 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) global conference and e
Videos | Angiography | February 08, 2019
This is an example of an arterial venous malformation (AVM) in the brain imaged on a...
Fujifilm Launches Latest Synapse 3D Version at HIMSS 2019

The new Intravoxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) MR application in Synapse 3D

Technology | Advanced Visualization | February 08, 2019
Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. will debut the latest version of its Synapse 3D solution at the Healthcare Information...
Medtronic Recalls Synergy Cranial Software and Stealth Station S7 Cranial Software
News | Procedure Navigation Systems | February 05, 2019
Medtronic is recalling the Synergy Cranial Software and StealthStation S7 Cranial Software used with the StealthStation...
Study Assesses Risk of MRI Exams for Patients With Tattoos
News | Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) | February 01, 2019
A new European study concluded that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams pose little risk for people with tattoos,...
Stereotactic Radiotherapy Improves Long-Term Survival in Stage-IV Cancers
News | Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) | January 31, 2019
The first report from a phase II, multi-center clinical trial indicates stereotactic radiation can extend long-term...
ImaginAb Enrolls First Patient in Phase II PET Agent Clinical Trial
News | Radiopharmaceuticals and Tracers | January 30, 2019
ImaginAb Inc. announced the enrollment of the first patient in the Phase II clinical trial of the company’s CD8+ T Cell...