Bruno Rossion

   Principal Investigator



University of Louvain (UCL)
Institute of research in Psychology (IPSY)  
Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS)
10, Place du Cardinal Mercier
1348 Louvain-La-Neuve \ Belgium

Tel : +32 10 47 87 88
Fax: + 32 10 47 37 74

Email :



Research Interests

My main research interest is to understand how the human brain categorizes objects of the visual world.  I have a particular interest in the visual perception and recognition of a fascinating category of objects: faces. The face is undoubtedly a ‘special’ type of stimulus, with a long evolutionary history and a critical role in humans for social communication.

To clarify the neuro-functional mechanisms of face perception, I like to combine sources of informatiion from a variety of methods. We perform our studies with neuroimaging PET, fMRI), EEG and ERP, eye movement recordings, and behavioral studies in normal adults, children and infants, as well as in brain-damaged people suffering from face recognition deficits (acquired prosopagnosia). In recent years, we have focused on the use of a fast visual periodic stimulation approach or "frequency-tagging", to understand face perception, visual categorization, and brain function in general. In particular, using this approach with infants (de Heering & Rossion, 2015) and in intracerebral recording studies (Jonas et al., in press) has proved extremely fruitful.


Selected Publications

Jonas, J.*, Jacques, C.*, Liu-Shuang, J., Brissart, H., Colnat-Coulbois, S., Maillard, L., Rossion, B. (in press). A face-selective ventral occipito-temporal map of the human brain with intracerebral potentials. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA.[PDF]

Norcia, A.M., Appelbaum, L.G., Ales, J.M., Cottereau, B., Rossion, B. (2015). The steady-state visual evoked potential in vision research: a review. Journal of Vision, 15(6):4, 1-46. [PDF]

de Heering, A. & Rossion, B. (2015). Rapid categorization of natural face images in the infant right hemisphere. eLife 2015;4;e06564. [PDF]

Boremanse, A., Norcia, A.M., Rossion, B. (2013). An objective signature for visual binding of face parts in the human brain. Journal of Vision (11):6, 1-18.[PDF][video].

Rossion, B. (2013). The composite face illusion: a whole window into our understanding of holistic face perception. Visual Cognition, 21, 139-253.  [PDF] [table_of_ contentsee our WEBPAGE

Jiang, F., Dricot, L., Weber, J., Righi, G., Tarr, M.J., Goebel, R., Rossion, B. (2011). Face categorization in visual scenes may start in a higher order area of the right fusiform gyrus: evidence from dynamic visual stimulation in neuroimaging. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106, 2720-2736. [PDF] [stimuli as figures]

Busigny, T., Joubert, S., Felician, O., Ceccaldi, M., Rossion, B. (2010). Holistic perception of the individual face is specific and necessary: evidence from an extensive case study of acquired prosopagnosia. Neuropsychologia, 48, 4057-4092. [PDF]

Van Belle, G., de Graef, P., Verfaillie, K., Busigny, T., Rossion, B. (2010). Whole not hole: expert face recognition requires holistic perception.  Neuropsychologia, 48, 2609-2620. [PDF]

Jacques, C., Rossion, B. (2009). The initial representation of individual faces in the right occipito-temporal cortex is holistic: electrophysiological evidence from the composite face illusion. Journal of Vision, 9(6):8, 1–16,, doi:10.1167/9.6.8. [ PDF]

Caharel, S., Jiang, F., Blanz, V., Rossion, B. (2009). Recognizing an individual face: 3D shape contributes earlier than 2D surface reflectance information. NeuroImage, 47, 1809-1818.  [PDF]

de Heering, A. & Rossion, B. (2008). Prolonged visual experience in adulthood modulates holistic face perception. PLOS One, 3(5):e2317 [PDF]

Rossion, B. (2008). Picture-plane inversion leads to qualitative changes of face perception. Acta Psychologica, 128, 274-289. [PDF]

Rossion, B. (2008). Constraining the cortical face network by neuroimaging studies of acquired prosopagnosia.NeuroImage, 40, 423-426. [PDF] 

Orban de Xivry, J.-J., Ramon, M., Lefèvre, P., Rossion, B. (2008). Reduced fixation on the upper area of personally familiar faces following acquired prosopagnosia. Journal of Neuropsychology, 2, 245-268. [PDF]

Rossion, B. & Jacques, C. (2008). Does physical interstimulus variance account for early electrophysiological face sensitive responses in the human brain? Ten lessons on the N170. NeuroImage, 39, 1959-1979. [PDF]

Jacques, C. d'Arripe, O., Rossion, B. (2007). The time course of the inversion effect during individual face discrimination.Journal of Vision, 7(8):3, 1-9,, doi:10.1167/7.8.3. [PDF]

Rossion, B., Collins, D., Goffaux, V., Curran, T. (2007). Long-term expertise with artificial objects increases visual competition with early face categorization processes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19, 543 - 555. [PDF] [slideshow summary] [draft in color]

Schiltz, C. & Rossion, B. (2006). Faces are represented holistically in the human occipito-temporal cortex. NeuroImage, 32, 1385-1394. [PDF] [slideshow summary]

Jacques, C. & Rossion, B. (2006). The speed of individual face categorization. Psychological Science,17, 485-492. [PDF]

Schiltz C, Sorger B, Caldara R, Ahmed F, Mayer E, Goebel R, Rossion B. (2006). Impaired face discrimination in acquired prosopagnosia is associated with abnormal response to individual faces in the right middle fusiform gyrus.Cerebral Cortex, 16, 574-586. [PDF] [slideshow summary]

Joyce, C.A. & Rossion, B. (2005). The face-sensitive N170 and VPP components manifest the same brain processes: The effect of reference electrode site. Clinical Neurophysiology. 116, 2613-2631. [PDF]

Rossion, B., Kung, C.C., Tarr, M.J. (2004). Visual expertise with nonface objects leads to competition with the early perceptual processing of faces in the human occipitotemporal cortex. PNAS, 101, 14521-14526. [PDF] [slideshow summary]

Rossion, B., Caldara, R., Seghier, M., Schuller, A.-M., Lazeyras, F., Mayer, E. (2003). A network of occipito-temporal face-sensitive areas besides the right middle fusiform gyrus is necessary for normal face processing. Brain, 126, 2381-2395. [PDF] [slideshow summary]

Rossion, B., Schiltz, C., Robaye, L., Pirenne, D., Crommelinck, M. (2001). How does the brain discriminate familiar and unfamiliar faces: a PET study of face categorical perception. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 13, 1019-1034. [PDF]

Rossion, B., Gauthier, I., Tarr, M.-J., Despland, P., Linotte, S., Bruyer, R., Crommelinck, M. (2000). The N170 occipito-temporal component is enhanced and delayed to inverted faces but not to inverted objects: an electrophyiological account of face-specific processes in the human brain, Neuroreport, 11, 1-6. [PDF]