Stories tagged faces

Jun
26
2009

Now, these are Brad Pitt's eyes: Or... no, maybe not. I'm not certain.
Now, these are Brad Pitt's eyes: Or... no, maybe not. I'm not certain.Courtesy myrmician
I’ll save you the anxiety of guessing and the effort of researching—it’s the third one. Or maybe psychology grad students really are good at Photoshop, and I simply can’t stand pictures of Bradbrad that have been adulterated in any way.

JGordon, what are you talking about?

Aahh, I don’t even know anymore. But I guess I’m referring to this study that recently came out of Vanderbilt University, about how we recognize human faces. It turns out that while we identify most stuff (cars are given as an example in the article) by individual features, individual humans are identified by the whole collection of facial features.

Holistic recognition (the way we see faces) is nice because we can quickly distinguish between lots of individuals. But the reason we’re able to do it so well, say the scientists, is because we associate names with faces, individuating them as we learn them. This is a different mental path than identifying something by individual parts.

Basically, we don’t identify people by thinking “Let’s see… square jaw, pointy nose, thin eyebrows, small ears… ah! That’s David!” And if we had learned to identify people that way, we would have to relearn to identify them holistically by all their features at once, because the two methods of identification aren’t really linked.

Or something. Like I said, I don’t really know what I’m talking about.

The scientists did, however, attempt to illustrate their point with this picture of actor Brad Pitt. The idea is as follows:
“See this picture of Brad Pitt?”
“Yes, I see that picture of Brad Pitt. Very nice.”
“Are you sure? Take a closer look.”
“What on Earth are you… Oh my goodness! The eyes! Those are Matt Damon’s eyes! Well, I never!”
“Yes, those are Matt Damon’s eyes! But you didn’t look at the eyes and say, ‘This is Matt Damon,’ did you?”
“No indeed!”

Except, if you’re anything like JGordon, you looked at that picture and thought, “What happened to Brad Pitt? Has Angelina Jolie been hitting him? Does he have eyeball parasites?” And you were so distracted by this that any future mention of psychology was overwhelmed by your concern for Benjamin Button himself. He’s only a child, after all.

Eh. Anyway, your photo project looks crazy, Vanderbilt.

Jun
24
2008

Nothing to do with the cat, actually: She just realized that she forgot her cell phone.
Nothing to do with the cat, actually: She just realized that she forgot her cell phone.Courtesy dieselbug2007
How has your day been so far? Good? I suppose it’s a little early to be asking that.

Depending on how you feel about no-faced cats, your day may be about to take a dive, or really look up.

When I say “no-faced cat,” what I mean is “a real cat with no face.” This one, in particular.

Not only has Chase recuperated beautifully from having her face and leg removed, but she’s started a blog!

Medicine is amazing, cats are amazing, and the Internet is amazing.

Who knew a cat could even type?

A boring old one-faced cat: I'll be throwing him out soon, in favor of a newer model.
A boring old one-faced cat: I'll be throwing him out soon, in favor of a newer model.Courtesy JGordon
Why was I not made aware of this earlier? This is an outrage! There's a media conspiracy at work here, a government cover-up. They, The Man, the military-industrial complex, the cigarette-smoking men, the Masons, the Shriners, are trying to keep us honest, hard-working Americans, from the truth! Truths like "Can a single cat have two faces? Yes."

How are we, as a society, as a democracy, supposed to move forward if important, nay, vital, information is being kept from us?

Break free. Go here, and meet this damn two-faced cat.