faces

If an apple is magnified to the size of the earth, then the atoms in the apple are approximately the size of the original apple

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Automatically detecting human social intentions from spoken conversation is an important task for dialogue understanding. Since the social intentions of the speaker may differ from what is perceived by the hearer, systems that analyze human conversations need to be able to extract both the perceived and the intended social meaning.

We investigate this difference between intention and perception by using a spoken corpus of speed-dates in which both the speaker and the listener rated the speaker on flirtatiousness.

Our flirtation- detection system uses prosodic, dialogue, and lexical features to detect a speaker’s intent to flirt with up to 71.5% accuracy.

{ Stanford | PDF }

related { First Impressions Count, But How? }

Everyone’s trying to be who they’re not

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Major theories propose that spontaneous responding to others’ actions involves mirroring, or direct matching.

Responding to facial expressions is assumed to follow this matching principle: People smile to smiles and frown to frowns.

We demonstrate here that social power fundamentally changes spontaneous facial mimicry of emotional expressions, thereby challenging the direct-matching principle.

{ Journal of Experimental Psychology: General | PDF }

Sit on a happy face

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When humans fight hand-to-hand the face is usually the primary target and the bones that suffer the highest rates of fracture are the parts of the skull that exhibit the greatest increase in robusticity during the evolution of basal hominins. These bones are also the most sexually dimorphic parts of the skull in both australopiths and humans. In this review, we suggest that many of the facial features that characterize early hominins evolved to protect the face from injury during fighting with fists. Specifically, the trend towards a more orthognathic face; the bunodont form and expansion of the postcanine teeth; the increased robusticity of the orbit; the increased robusticity of the masticatory system, including the mandibular corpus and condyle, zygoma, and anterior pillars of the maxilla; and the enlarged jaw adductor musculature are traits that may represent protective buttressing of the face.

If the protective buttressing hypothesis is correct, the primary differences in the face of robust versus gracile australopiths may be more a function of differences in mating system than differences in diet as is generally assumed. In this scenario, the evolution of reduced facial robusticity in Homo is associated with the evolution of reduced strength of the upper body and, therefore, with reduced striking power.

The protective buttressing hypothesis provides a functional explanation for the puzzling observation that although humans do not fight by biting our species exhibits pronounced sexual dimorphism in the strength and power of the jaw and neck musculature. The protective buttressing hypothesis is also consistent with observations that modern humans can accurately assess a male’s strength and fighting ability from facial shape and voice quality.

{ Biological Reviews | Continue reading }

‘I’m running the Shakespeare Monologue booth at this year’s Van’s Warped Tour. It’s $5 for tragedies.’ —Jeb Lund

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It’s a con­cept that had become uni­ver­sally under­stood: humans expe­ri­ence six basic emotions—happiness, sad­ness, anger, fear, dis­gust, and surprise—and use the same set of facial move­ments to express them. What’s more, we can rec­og­nize emo­tions on another’s face, whether that person hails from Boston or Borneo.

The only problem with this con­cept, according to North­eastern Uni­ver­sity Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Psy­chology Lisa Feldman Bar­rett, is that it isn’t true at all.

{ Northeastern | Continue reading }

art { Richard Hamilton, Swingeing London 67 (f), 1968-9 | Acrylic paint, screenprint, paper, aluminium and metalised acetate on canvas }

Good afternoon, Mrs Sheehy

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Previous research has shown that men with higher facial width-to-height ratios (fWHRs) have higher testosterone and are more aggressive, more powerful, and more financially successful. We tested whether they are also more attractive to women in the ecologically valid mating context of speed dating.

Men’s fWHR was positively associated with their perceived dominance, likelihood of being chosen for a second date, and attractiveness to women for short-term, but not long-term, relationships.

{ Psychological Science | PDF }

related { Finger lengths as a key to desirability in romantic couples }

In the idle darkness comes the bite

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{ When a shopper enters Reebok’s flagship store in New York City, a face-detection system analyzes 10 to 20 frames per second to build a profile of the potential customer. The algorithms can determine a shopper’s gender and age range as well as behavioral and emotional cues, such as interest in a given display (it tracks glances and the amount of time spent standing in one place). Reebok installed the system, called Cara, in May 2013; other companies are following suit. Tesco recently unveiled a technology in the U.K. that triggers digital ads at gas stations tailored to the viewer’s age and gender. | Popular Science | full story }

Alice had a thing for Bob, or Animal as his friends called him

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{ How To Make Your Face (Digitally) Unforgettable | NPR | MIT | PDF }

‘If it moves, sponsor it. If it doesn’t, paint it red.’ –Coca-Cola

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People often reveal their private emotions in tiny, fleeting facial expressions, visible only to a best friend — or to a skilled poker player. Now, computer software is using frame-by-frame video analysis to read subtle muscular changes that flash across our faces in milliseconds, signaling emotions like happiness, sadness and disgust.

With face-reading software, a computer’s webcam might spot the confused expression of an online student and provide extra tutoring. Or computer-based games with built-in cameras could register how people are reacting to each move in the game and ramp up the pace if they seem bored. […]

Companies in this field include Affectiva, based in Waltham, Mass., and Emotient, based in San Diego. Affectiva used webcams over two and a half years to accumulate and classify about 1.5 billion emotional reactions from people who gave permission to be recorded as they watched streaming video. […]

So far, the company’s algorithms have been used mainly to monitor people’s expressions as a way to test ads, movie trailers and television shows in advance. […] Affectiva’s clients include Unilever, Mars and Coca-Cola. The advertising research agency Millward Brown says it has used Affectiva’s technology to test about 3,000 ads for clients.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }

related { New algorithm finds you, even in untagged photos. }

What are they all by? Shee.

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Earlier studies already showed that people that just experienced or recalled an embarrassing situation — that is a public action that observers could consider as foolish or inappropriate — often feel motivated to avoid social contact or to repair their image. Sunglasses and restorative cosmetics could help with that. A team of researchers now investigated the actual effectiveness of these coping strategies. […]

Hiding the face and repairing the face weren’t equally effective in these experiments. Face restoring products seemed to relieve feelings of embarrassment and restore willingness to interact with others. Simply hiding the face didn’t seem to help.

{ United-Academics | Continue reading }

‘How do you get the model to calm down during a self-portrait?’ –Tim Geoghegan

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Face recognition is supposed to be fast. However, the actual speed at which faces can be recognized remains unknown. To address this issue, we report two experiments run with speed constraints. […]

Results indicate that the fastest speed at which a face can be recognized is around 360–390 ms. Such latencies are about 100 ms longer than the latencies recorded in similar tasks in which subjects have to detect faces among other stimuli.

{ Frontiers | Continue reading }

That is typically Swedish. They’ll hold their breath until they turn blue. And yellow.

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When we recognize someone, we integrate information from across their face into a perceptual whole, and do so using a specialized brain region. Recognizing other kinds of objects does not engage such specific brain areas, and is achieved in a much more parts-based way.

In a recent review of the literature [The evolution of holistic processing of faces], we investigated how this face-specific mode of perception may have evolved by examining the evidence for face-based holistic processing in other species. A surprisingly wide variety of other animals can recognize each other from their “face,” but for most of these there is either evidence that they don’t do this “holistically” (dogs are an example) or insufficient evidence to claim that they do (typically because the experiments are poorly designed).

There is good evidence that some species of monkey are as affected by turning the face upside down as humans are (which is one index of holistic processing), and one species of monkey (Rhesus macaques) also shows evidence of the “composite effect.” The composite effect refers to the fact that people find it difficult to recognize the top half of a face if it is shown lined up with the bottom half of a different face, because we can’t help integrating the two halves into a new whole. People have trouble recognizing other primate faces when they are upside down, but only show the composite effect for human faces.

{ University of Newcastle | Continue reading }

Alert all commands. Calculate every possible destination along their last known trajectory.

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Humans specifically seek out the eyes of others, rather than just the middle of their faces, according to a new study proposed by an 11-year-old boy that uses characters from video game Dungeons and Dragons.

Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone, director of the brain and research lab at the University of British Columbia in Canada, first became interested in testing whether people look at each others eyes, or simply the centre of their heads, two years ago. However, some had suggested an answer to the question would be impossible to find because our eyes happen to always be roughly in the centre of our heads.

Taking the problem home to his family, Alan’s then 11-year-old son, Julian Levy – named lead author of the subsequent paper, titled “Monsters are people too”, published in British Royal Society journal Biology Letters – had “a clever idea that only a kid’s brain could have,” Kingstone said.

{ Cosmos | Continue reading }

photo { Ilse Bing, Self-Portrait in Mirrors, 1932 }