Cortical neurons that are selectively sensitive to faces, parts of faces and particular facial expressions are concentrated in the banks and floor of the superior temporal sulcus in macaque monkeys. Their existence has prompted suggestions that it is damage to such a region in the human brain that leads to prosopagnosia: the inability to recognize faces or to discriminate between faces. This was tested by removing the face-cell area in a group of monkeys. The animals learned to discriminate between pictures of faces or inanimate objects, to select the odd face from a group, to inspect a face then select the matching face from a pair of faces after a variable delay, to discriminate between novel and familiar faces, and to identify specific faces. Removing the face-cell area produced no or little impairment which in the latter case was not specific for faces. In contrast, several prosopagnosic patients were impaired at several of these tasks. The animals were less able than before to discern the angle of regard in pictures of faces, suggesting that this area of the brain may be concerned with the perception of facial expression and bearing, which are important social signals in primates.