Our ability to recognize others by their facial features is at the core of human social interaction, yet this ability varies widely within the general population, ranging from developmental prosopagnosia to “super-recognizers”. Previous work has focused mainly on the contribution of neural activity within the well described face network to this variance. However, given the nature of face memory in everyday life, and the social context in which it takes place, we were interested in exploring how the collaboration between different networks outside the face network in humans (measured through resting state connectivity) affects face memory performance. Fifty participants (men and women) were scanned with fMRI. Our data revealed that although the nodes of the face-processing network were tightly coupled at rest, the strength of these connections did not predict face memory performance. Instead, face recognition memory was dependent on multiple connections between these face patches and regions of the medial temporal lobe memory system (including the hippocampus), and the social processing system. Moreover, this network was selective for memory for faces, and did not predict memory for other visual objects (cars). These findings suggest that in the general population, variability in face memory is dependent on how well the face processing system interacts with other processing networks, with interaction among the face patches themselves accounting for little of the variance in memory ability.
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