Study explains how humans’ ability to recognize faces gets better in young adults
A new study by Stanford University researchers claimed to have found why humans’ ability to recognize faces keeps getting better until around the age of 30 years.
A team of researchers led by Jesse Gomez, a graduate student in neurosciences at Stanford, carried out a comparison of children’s brains and grownup brains. The brain scans of 22 children and 25 adults revealed that an area of the brain that recognizes faces keeps growing long after adolescence.
They found that brain area did not acquire more neurons; instead it became more densely populated with the specific structures which connect and support neurons.
Sharing their findings, Gomez said, “You can imagine a 10-foot by 10-foot garden, and it has some number of flowers in there. The number of flowers isn't changing, but their stems and branches and leaves are getting more complex.”
The results of the new study suggest that development of human brain is much more varied than scientists once thought. The findings could have implications for understanding not merely normal brain development but also disorders like autism, dyslexia, or face blindness.
The researchers reported their findings in the most recent edition of the widely-acclaimed journal Science.
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