Reports

Cells in temporal cortex of conscious sheep can respond preferentially to the sight of faces

Science  24 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4800, pp. 448-450
DOI: 10.1126/science.3563521

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Abstract

To investigate whether the temporal cortex of a nonprimate species contains cells responsive to the sight of faces, a study was made in conscious sheep of the responses of neurons in this brain region to the sight of faces. Of 561 cells from which responses were recorded, 40 responded preferentially to faces. Different categories of these cells were influenced by dominance (presumably indicated by the presence and size of horns), breed and familiarity, and threatening faces such as those of humans and dogs. These results demonstrate that cells that respond preferentially to faces are present in the temporal cortex of a nonprimate species, and that the responses of these cells are influenced by factors relevant to social interaction.