UCL Institute of Ophthalmology


Vision@UCL: Professor Kalanit Grill-Spector

21 February 2018, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

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Professor Kalanit Grill-Spector (Stanford University) will speak on "Neural mechanisms of the development of Face Recognition."

Event Information

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Dr. Tessa Dekker from the Child Vision Lab (t.dekker@ucl.ac.uk) & Dr. John Greenwood from the Eccentric Vision Lab (john.greenwood@ucl.ac.uk)


Room G03 26 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AP

Talk description

Face recognition is important for our everyday social interactions and improves substantially from childhood to adulthood. How do brain mechanisms develop from childhood to adulthood to enable proficient behaviour? I will present data from a series of recent studies that examine the interplay between anatomical, functional, and behavioural developments using cutting-edge neuroimaging and computational methods. The research examines the following key questions: How does cortical tissue change as brain function and human behaviour improve from childhood to adulthood? How does neural sensitivity to face identity develop, and impact perceptual discrimination among faces? How do key spatial computations by receptive fields change from childhood to adulthood? 

Surprisingly, we find (i) differential developmental across the visual system, with regions processing faces showing particularly protracted anatomical and functional developmental, (ii) that both anatomical and functional development play a role in the development of face recognition ability, and (iii) that visual viewing experience plays a role in sculpting the basic computational units – or population receptive fields - that process faces. Together our data propose a new model by which emergent brain function and behaviour during childhood result from cortical tissue growth and increases in responses and selectivity to relevant stimuli rather than from pruning and decreases in responses to irrelevant stimuli. 

More information

For more information about Prof. Kalanit Grill-Spector and her work, visit: 

For more information about Vision@UCL, visit the Child Vision Lab pages:

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