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Visual recognition of facial expression

Dr Simon Stringer ( Department of Experimental Psychology, Director, Oxford Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience and Artificial Intelligence, University of Oxford )

The first half of the lecture will begin by reviewing what is known about the neural representation of faces in the primate visual system. How does the visual system represent the spatial structure of faces, facial identity and expression? We then discuss how depression is associated with negative cognitive biases in the recognition of facial expression, whereby depressed people interpret facial expressions more negatively. The second half of the lecture presents computer simulations aimed at understanding how these facial representations may develop through visual experience. We show how neural representations of expression are linked to particular spatial relationships between facial features. Building on this, we show how the synaptic connections in the model may be rewired by visual training to eliminate the negative cognitive biases seen in depression.

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