Facial recognition relies on distinct and parallel types of processing: featural processing focuses on
the individual components of a face (e.g., the shape or the size of the eyes), whereas configural (or
“relational”) processing considers the spatial interrelationships among the single facial components
(e.g., distance of the mouth from the nose). Previous neuroimaging evidence has suggested that
featural and configural processes may rely on different brain circuits. By using rTMS, here we show
for the first time a double dissociation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex for different aspects of face
processing: in particular, TMS over the left middle frontal gyrus (BA8) selectively disrupted
featural processing, whereas TMS over the right inferior frontal gyrus (BA44) selectively interfered
with configural processing of faces. By establishing a causal link between activation in left and
right prefrontal areas and different modes of face processing, our data extend previous
neuroimaging evidence and may have important implications in the study of face-processing
deficits, such as those manifested in prosopagnosia and autistic spectrum disorders.
Empirical studies on the development of face processing skills with age show inconsistent patterns concerning qualitative vs. quantitative changes over time or the age range for peak cognitive performance.
We present a framework for cognitive modeling of esthetic decision making based on dynamic prototypes. Starting point of our work
is empirical evidence which shows that subjects’ initial ratings of attractiveness of objects can be influenced by adapting them to new,
typically more innovative objects. The framework consists of three steps: (1) Estimating an initial prototype from the ratings, (2) adapting
the prototype due to the impact of the new objects, and (3) predicting the attractiveness ratings for subsequently presented object by
their similarity to the adapted prototype. The framework allows representation of prototypes and objects as feature vectors containing
metrical or categorial attributes or as structural representations. Within the framework, a variety of similarity measures and similarity-torating
mappings can be explored to gain more precise insight into the cognitive processes underlying esthetical appreciations. We instantiated
the framework for a first set of data obtained in a psychological experiment. In this experiment subjects rated the attractiveness of
an initial set of chairs which varied in length of the backrest and the saturation of the color. Subjects then were adapted to a new set of
chairs with extreme values on both dimensions. Finally, subjects again rated the initial objects. The framework was instantiated with an
e-function to model the non-linear effects of variations in length and saturation on the judgements. Although there were only 25 data
points per subject, we got satisfying results in predicting the shift of esthetical judgements due to adaptation to novel stimuli.
Jeffery et al. extensively and thoroughly describe how different species navigate through a three-dimensional environment. Undeniably, the world offers numerous three-dimensional opportunities. For most navigation tasks, we argue, a two-dimensional representation is nevertheless sufficient, as physical conditions and limitations such as gravity, thermoclines, or layers of earth encountered in a specific situation provide the very elevation data the navigating individual needs.
This paper provides an overview over contemporary empathy research, including concepts and definitions as well as descriptions of empathic processes and outcomes. Based on these theoretical foundations, three different approaches to model empathy are described: a low-level computational approach, an OCC-based approach, and an empathy model inspired by PSI, a general psychological theory of psychic functioning. Ideas on how these models could be implemented in agents are discussed and preliminary efforts to evaluate the plausibility and believability of the empathic processes and outcomes are drafted.