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Please submit questions based on Arcaro and Lehrer readings!

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Aracaro et al. (2017) found that young monkeys deprived of exposure to faces demonstrate a lack of development of face domains in the inferotemporal cortex (IT). At the time of testing, face-deprived monkeys had never been exposed to faces of any kind except during scanning and viewing sessions (≤2h per week after animals were ≥90 days old). Is there a critical period for the development of face-domains in IT? If these monkeys had been tested again after being introduced normal rearing conditions they would have eventually developed face-domains similar to that of controls?

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It was observed that the face-deprived monkeys had increased activation over the control group when exposed to hands. The researchers theorized that this could possibly be because the areas of the monkey brain that are "supposed" to handle facial recognition were not used and, therefore, this area was used to help the recognition of hands instead. What are some factors that are going to contribute to this phenomenon? Functionality of hands? The fact that hands are much more complicated body features? Proximity of the "hand" region of the monkey brain with the "facial" region?

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If “What we see is not real. [Sight] has been bent to fit our canvas, which is the brain.” as Lehrer says, then can art like Cézanne’s nonfinito paintings ever have ground truth?

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In the Arcaro et al study, they found that the control monkeys preferentially looked at faces while the face-deprived monkeys looked more at hands than faces. Do you think this preference for looking at hands in the face-deprived monkeys would affect their ability to learn about the importance of faces, and therefore affect potential future development of a face-selective area?

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Lehrer mentions a case study of Mr. P who, due to a cortical lesion, could not interpret what he was seeing and understand the world as a whole. This study demonstrates an aspect of visual processing, however there are also studies on disruptions to object recognition due to issues with memory. How does memory play a role in object recognition?

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From Arcaro’s paper “we propose that environmental importance influences viewing behavior, viewing behavior drives neuronal activity, and neuronal activity sculpts domain formation.” and “...face looking is not innate...” Does facial recognition have to be based on one hypothesis over the other? Can’t it depends on what we specifically mean by facial recognition? For example, Isn’t distinguishing “different” faces one dimension of face recognition? Maybe distinguishing faces is innate. On the other hand, maybe distinguishing certain facial features would be hard to recognize without face experience. Are there previous studies, on people who just regained their sight, that proves this hypothesis?

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The paper by Arcaro et al talked about face domains and innate ability for preferential looking etc. Thinking about the experiments with Monkeys deprived of any images of faces during the early period made think of - How do we recognize things/classify different kinds of faces. Do we have innate ability to extract features like machine learning does and store that away in our memory ? Or do we take a copy of every single light/illumination we receive and store an exact copy ?

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In Paul Cezanne: The Process of Sight - there was a lot of discussion around visual experiences vs visual sensations and about how our brain is not just a mirror or a camera. And art is the medium to experience the reality of our mind. While I agree with it, I have always been curious about how our visual perception development accounts for the beholders share we experience. Do we have a basis in our visual perception system about beholders share or our experience of art ?

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It seems like most times experience of an art piece is enhanced when you know what the experience is supposed to be ? Does it somehow inherently take away the value of an art piece if the artist makes explicit what the experience is ?

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Ellander: Lehrer talks about how Cezanne was focused on the act of “seeing”, and of this quest to find an ideal formula to understand how much information does someone need to identify an object. Similarly, Arcaro discusses the need for experience to recognize faces, and shows how lack of exposure to an object doesn’t create a recognition deficit for other objects. So, I wonder-Can a blind person know how he/she looks? According to Arcaro, they would have a strong deficit in creating an image of themselves because they’ve never been visually exposed to a face, but according to Cezanne they could have a good approximation because they have some information available to them (i.e. they can touch their face). What would the effect of touching something have on the visual experience one forms? Another case could be: If someone has not been exposed to their face (either by looking in a mirror or a photo of themselves) for an extended period of time, but they know how they looked before the experiment, and they see how people age, would the image that they have of themselves be accurate or not?
Ellander: Lehrer talks about how Cezanne was focused on the act of “seeing”, and of this quest to find an ideal formula to understand how much information does someone need to identify an object. Similarly, Arcaro discusses the need for experience to recognize faces, and shows how lack of exposure to an object doesn’t create a recognition deficit for other objects. So, I wonder-Can a blind person know how he/she looks? According to Arcaro, they would have a strong deficit in creating an image of themselves because they’ve never been visually exposed to a face, but according to Cezanne they could have a good approximation because they have some information available to them (i.e. they can touch their face). What would the effect of touching something have on the visual experience one forms? Another case could be: If someone has not been exposed to their face (either by looking in a mirror or a photo of themselves) for an extended period of time, but they know how they looked before the experiment, and they see how people age, would the image that they have of themselves be accurate or not?