According to a recent National Geographic article primates pay a lot of attention to their friends asses. But not only that, they can actually identify them based on their fabulous booties. In humans facial recognition is based on a region coined as the Fusiform Face Area (FFA) and I believe a similar region has been found in primates. There is also an area of the human cortex dedicated to processing the body, call the Extra Striate Body Area (EBA). The big question here is whether primates have a particular area of the brain dedicated to only ass processing or they are using one of these other areas for the recognition. Isabel Gauthier could possibly make a case for the face area doing the ass processing since she believes that the fusiform gyrus participates in visual processing of expert categories and I'm sure you could make a case for the primates being experts in the ass. On the other hand... perhaps Nancy Kanwisher would make a case through recognition in the EBA of the primates (do they have EBA's?). In any case - Chimps like asses even more than humans.
Anyway... here's some of the details of the study:
In a recent experiment, captive primates were able to identify photos of their acquaintances' rears and match them with the right faces. The ability suggests that the animals possess mental "whole body" representations of other chimps they know.
Each participating chimp was flashed a picture of another's bum, with visible genitals, then shown the face of the derriere's owner and another face of the same gender.
Both males and females were successful in this anatomical match game, pairing faces and posteriors with much greater frequency than chance alone--but only if the photos showed chimps they already knew.
"Many animals look at parts of the body, the voice, the hands, as separate entities and don't wholly integrate them," said study co-author Frans de Waal of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Atlanta's Emory University.
On a related note, I know a professor who I guess I shouldn't mention by name who thinks that men have a breast related area. I'm not sure what evidence she has of this but I might be convinced.
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This story was making the rounds (pun intended) last week:
An alleged German robber has been identified and caught -- not because her face was caught on camera or a distinctive t-shirt she was wearing had been seen again, but because an eagle-eyed witness recognized her large behind.
The 26-year old female robber originally got away with around 15,000 euros ($22,100) from a raid at a bank in the western German town of Norf but when she returned to hit the same bank again, the witness saw a "very large" backside and a pair of "powerful thighs" which he thought he'd seen before, standing in front of him in the queue.
Several times over the years, I've identified people I know by their walk and the general way in which they carry their bodies. I remember once having lunch with colleagues in a pizza parlor, and looked up to notice one of the men stepping into the ordering line. "That's Joe!" I said, and my colleagues looked at me as though I were nuts. Joe had left our company three years previously, and none of us had seen him since. But eventually he turned sideways to show his profile and we all confirmed that it was, in fact, Joe.
So, what part of my brain was working then? Once Joe stopped walking, he became completely anonymous. If I'd seen him a second later, I never would have noticed him.
Humans are very good at recognizing certain aspects of other humans. Almost anyone can identify the sex of a moving person standing at the opposite end of a football field, even if they are wearing clothes that obscure the obvious external clues.
Maybe it is the sex area of the brain that the apes ass processing hails from.
I agree with your professor that men have a breast related area. Men also have an ass processing area.
very funny pictures. I love monkeysss...
"Maybe its the sex area of the brain."
Wouldn't that be the brain, then?
What a funny picture ;)
Maybe its the sex area of the brain."
Wouldn't that be the brain, then?