The high degree of scientific interest in face processing is readily understandable, since people's faces provide such a wealth of social information. Moreover, investigations have produced evidence of highly precocious face processing abilities in infants, and of neural mechanisms in adults that seem to be differentially involved in face perception. Such findings demonstrate that, as one might expect, the psychological importance of the face has clear biological underpinnings.There are also urgent practical reasons for wanting to understand face processing. The most extensively investigated of these involve forensic issues. Other applications include the development of automated recognition systems for security and other purposes, and understanding and rehabilitating disorders and impairments linked to brain injuries and psychiatric conditions.Current studies of face processing are grouped in the volume into eleven topic areas. For each area, the editors approached an acknowledged authority and commissioned a review chapter summarising the findings that have been made. These chapters were then circulated to other experts who were asked to write brief commentaries that developed theoretical or empirical points of importance to each area. In this way, a balanced coverage of each topic is achieved.The book begins with a section examining the evidence suggesting that there may be something `special' about face processing. This is followed by consideration of the face as a visual pattern. Then there are four sections dealing with major uses of facial information, followed by sections discussing the development of face processing abilities and the neural mechanisms involved. The last three sections of the book deal with topics for which there are important practical applications for the studies reported.