faces

‘Le seul bien qui me reste au monde est d’avoir quelquefois pleuré.’ –Alfred de Musset

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Despite variation in lifestyle and environment, first signs of human facial aging show between the ages of 20–30 years. It is a cumulative process of changes in the skin, soft tissue, and skeleton of the face. As quantifications of facial aging in living humans are still scarce, we set out to study age-related changes in three- dimensional facial shape using geometric morphometrics.


We collected surface scans of 88 human faces (aged 26–90 years) from the coastal town Split (Croatia) and neighboring islands. Based on a geometric morphometric analysis of 585 measurement points (landmarks and semi- landmarks), we modeled sex-specific trajectories of average facial aging.


Age-related facial shape change was similar in both sexes until around age 50, at which time the female aging trajectory turned sharply. The overall magnitude of facial shape change (aging rate) was higher in women than men, especially in early postmenopause. Aging was generally associated with a flatter face, sagged soft tissue (“broken” jawline), deeper nasolabial folds, smaller visible areas of the eyes, thinner lips, and longer nose and ears. In postmenopausal women, facial aging was best predicted by the years since last menstruation and mainly attributable to bone resorption in the mandible.


{ Physical Anthropology | Continue reading }

Facebook algorithm can recognise people in photographs even when it can’t see their faces

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In Shenzhen, the local subway operator is testing various advanced technologies backed by the ultra-fast 5G network, including facial-recognition ticketing.

At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts. […]

Consumers can already pay for fried chicken at KFC in China with its “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system, first introduced at an outlet in Hangzhou in January 2017. […]

Chinese cities are among the most digitally savvy and cashless in the world, with about 583 million people using their smartphones to make payment in China last year, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. Nearly 68 per cent of China’s internet users used a mobile wallet for their offline payments.

{ South China Morning Post | Continue reading }

photo { The Collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum }

though Eavens ears ow many fines he faces

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It seems that as we get older our ears get bigger (on average by 0.22 mm a year).

{ BMJ | Continue reading | PDF }

photo { Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Catherine, 1981 }

*swipes right*

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The convergence in physical appearance hypothesis posits that long-term partners’ faces become more similar with time as a function of the shared environment, diet, and synchronized facial expressions.

While this hypothesis has been widely disseminated in psychological literature, it is supported by a single study of 12 married couples. Here, we examine this hypothesis using the facial images of 517 couples taken at the beginning of their marriage and 20 or more years later. […]

The results show that while spouses’ faces tend to be similar at marriage, they do not converge over time.

{ PsyArXiv | Continue reading }

oil on canvas { Édouard Manet, Young Lady in 1866, 1866 }

Prettymaide hues may have their cry apple, bacchante, custard, dove, eskimo, fawn, ginger, hemalite isinglass, jet, kipper, lucile, mimosa, nut, oysterette, prune, quasimodo, royal, sago, tango, umber, vanilla, wistaria, xray, yesplease, zaza, philomel, theerose. What are they all by? Shee.

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Faces are a primary source of social information, but little is known about the sequence of neural processing of personally relevant faces, such as those of our loved ones.

We applied representational similarity analyses to EEG-fMRI measurement of neural responses to faces of personal relevance to participants – their romantic partner and a friend – compared to a stranger. Faces expressed fear, happiness or no emotion. […]

Models of face processing postulate that recognition of face identity takes place with structural encoding in the fusiform gyrus around 170 ms after stimulus onset. We provide evidence that the high personal relevance of our friends’ and loved ones’ faces is detected prior to structural encoding […] as early as 100 ms after stimulus onset. […] Our findings imply that our brain can ‘bypass’ full structural encoding of face identity in order to prioritise the processing of faces most relevant to us.

{ BioRxiv | Continue reading }

acrylic on canvas { Nychos, Barbie Meltdown, 2016 }

you see the Benz on dubs

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if we asked our listeners […] what do you think you do on your face when you express anger? Everybody can give you something and it will be pretty much accurate. And the reason is because all of us have seen it. […] if you ask a blind person, “Hey, show me what you look like when you’re angry or when you’re sad,” you’ll get something that’s close but you don’t get the exact facial muscle movements that occur when those emotions occur spontaneously. However, when it occurs spontaneously, the exact facial muscle movements are exactly the same. So blind individuals produce them spontaneously but don’t produce exactly the same thing when you ask them to pose whereas sighted people do. 

{ David Matsumoto/APA | Continue reading }

photo { Audrey Hepburn photographed by Richard Avedon on the set of Funny Face, 1956 | Richard Avedon was hired as visual consultant for Funny Face, directed by Stanley Donen. Shot partly in France, the film is loosely based on Avedon’s career as a fashion photographer in Paris. }

Like in much of theoretical physics, the answer is effectively a non-answer

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Strange-face illusions are produced when two individuals gaze at each other in the eyes in low illumination for more than a few minutes.

Usually, the members of the dyad perceive numinous apparitions, like the other’s face deformations and perception of a stranger or a monster in place of the other, and feel a short lasting dissociation. […]

Strange-face illusions can be considered as ‘projections’ of the subject’s unconscious into the other’s face. In conclusion, intersubjective gazing at low illumination can be a tool for conscious integration of unconscious ’shadows of the Self’ in order to reach completeness of the Self.

{ Explore | Continue reading }

photo { Richard Kern }

The mind, the music breathing from her face

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An Israeli start-up says it can take one look at a person’s face and realize character traits that are undetectable to the human eye.

Faception said it’s already signed a contract with a homeland security agency to help identify terrorists. The company said its technology also can be used to identify everything from great poker players to extroverts, pedophiles, geniuses and white collar-criminals. […]

Faception recently showed off its technology at a poker tournament organized by a start-up that shares investors with Faception. […] Two of those four were among the event’s three finalists. To make its prediction Faception analyzed photos of the 50 players against a Faception database of professional poker players.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }

‘We have psychologized like the insane, who aggravate their madness in struggling to understand it.’ —Beaudelaire

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According to film mythology, the Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted an experiment in which he combined a close-up of an actor’s neutral face with three different emotional contexts: happiness, sadness, and hunger. The viewers of the three film sequences reportedly perceived the actor’s face as expressing an emotion congruent with the given context.

It is not clear, however, whether or not the so-called “Kuleshov effect” really exists. The original film footage is lost and recent attempts at replication have produced either conflicting or unreliable results.

The current paper describes an attempt to replicate Kuleshov’s original experiment using an improved experimental design. In a behavioral and eye tracking study, 36 participants were each presented with 24 film sequences of neutral faces across six emotional conditions. For each film sequence, the participants were asked to evaluate the emotion of the target person in terms of valence, arousal, and category. The participants’ eye movements were recorded throughout.

The results suggest that some sort of Kuleshov effect does in fact exist.

{ Perception | Continue reading }

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking because a line of attack didn’t work at first that it isn’t effective. Repetition is key.

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When leaning forward to kiss to a romantic partner, individuals tend to direct their kiss to the right more often than the left. Studies have consistently demonstrated this kissing asymmetry, although other factors known to influence lateral biases, such as sex or situational context, had yet to be explored. The primary purpose of our study was to investigate if turning direction was consistent between a romantic (parent-parent) and parental (parent-child) kissing context, and secondly, to examine if sex differences influenced turning bias between parent-child kissing partners. […]

The results indicated that the direction of turning bias differed between kissing contexts. A right-turn bias was observed for romantic kissing; a left-turn bias was exhibited for parental kissing. There was no significant difference of turning bias between any parent-child kissing partners. Interpretations for the left-turn bias discuss parental kissing as a learned lateral behavior.

{ Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition | Continue reading }

publicity still { Joe Dallesandro and Sylvia Miles in Heat (1972) }

The monkish monsignor, with a head full of plaster

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Previous studies have found that facial appearance can predict both the selection and performance of leaders. Little is known about the specific facial features responsible for this relationship, however.

One possible feature is mouth width, which correlates with the propensity for physical combat in primates and could therefore be linked to one’s perceived dominance and achievement of greater social rank. […]

We observed that mouth width correlated with judgments of CEOs’ leadership ability and with a measure of their actual leadership success. Individuals with wider mouths were also more likely to have won U.S. senate, but not gubernatorial, races. Mouth width may therefore be a valid cue to leadership selection and success.

{ Journal of Experimental Social Psychology | Continue reading }

photo { Gregory Crewdson }

States will continue, often legitimately, to act covertly and maintain secrecy over aspects of their conduct

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In every minute we have hundreds of thousands of body language signals that are pouring out from us and broadcasting how we’re feeling and thinking to everyone around. So even when you manage to control your facial expression consciously, sooner or later what’s called a “micro-expression” is going to flash. And even if it’s as fast as 17 milliseconds, people will catch that because that is how fast people read each others’ facial expressions. So trying to control your facial expressions is not just impossible, it will even backfire. Since the micro-expressions will be incongruent with the main expression, they’ll give the impression that something is not quite right and you can end up seeming fake — which, of course, ruins trust and charisma.

{ Olivia Fox Cabane | Continue reading }