Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Face and Object Recognition

  • Jason W. Griffin
  • Natalie V. Motta-MenaEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2762-1



Recognition is the ability to perceive the physical characteristics of objects (including faces and non-face objects) and categorize these characteristics into classes (e.g., size, shape, color), in order to apply a semantic label to the object (e.g., “coffee cup”) or identify the face (e.g., “Jim from the office”).


Human vision evolved to support two distinct mechanisms: recognition of objects and visual guidance of movement. As such, visual processing is instantiated in the brain by way of two distinct visual pathways that both originate in primary visual cortex (V1) and project to the temporal (ventral stream) or parietal (dorsal stream) cortex (Kravitz et al. 2013). The distinction between these two pathways has been demonstrated in case studies, showing that patients with lesions in the ventral stream nevertheless demonstrate the ability to appropriately reach and grasp...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Human FactorsExponent, IncAustinUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Russell Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA