A unified coding strategy for processing faces and voices

Galit Yovel, Pascal Belin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Both faces and voices are rich in socially-relevant information, which humans are remarkably adept at extracting, including a person's identity, age, gender, affective state, personality, etc. Here, we review accumulating evidence from behavioral, neuropsychological, electrophysiological, and neuroimaging studies which suggest that the cognitive and neural processing mechanisms engaged by perceiving faces or voices are highly similar, despite the very different nature of their sensory input. The similarity between the two mechanisms likely facilitates the multi-modal integration of facial and vocal information during everyday social interactions. These findings emphasize a parsimonious principle of cerebral organization, where similar computational problems in different modalities are solved using similar solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-271
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Auditory cortex
  • Face recognition
  • Neural selectivity
  • Sensory coding
  • Visual cortex
  • Voice recognition


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