Why do humans see faces in everyday objects


Human beings are Finding patterns in inanimate objects, especially facial champions—think of the famous “face on Mars” in images taken by the Viking 1 orbiter in 1976. This is essentially a trick of light and shadow.People always find what they think is Face of jesus In toast and many others (a lot of) General food. There is even one (now no longer exists) Twitter account Committed to planning images of the phenomenon of “faces in things”.

The fancy name for this phenomenon is facial hallucinations. Scientists at the University of Sydney have discovered that not only can we see faces in everyday objects, our brains can even process the emotional expression of objects in the same way as real faces, instead of discarding objects as false detections. This sharing mechanism may have developed due to the need to quickly determine whether a person is a friend or an enemy.The Sydney team describes their work A recent paper Published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

David Alais, the lead author of the University of Sydney, tell protector“We are such a complex social species, and face recognition is very important… You need to recognize who it is, family, friend or enemy, what are their intentions and emotions? Face detection is very fast. The brain seems to be Use a template matching program to do this. So if it sees an object that appears to have two eyes above the nose above the mouth, then it will say, “Oh, I saw a face. “It’s a bit fast and loose, and sometimes makes mistakes, so things like human faces often trigger this kind of template matching.”

Alais has been interested in this and related topics for many years.For example, in a 2016 papers Published on Scientific report, He and some colleagues build on previous studies involving rapid facial sequences, which have shown that perceptions of facial identity and attractiveness are biased toward the most recently seen faces. Ales et al. A dual task is designed to imitate the selection interface in online dating sites and applications (such as Tinder). If the user thinks the profile picture of a potential partner is attractive or unattractive, swipe left or right. The team found that many stimulus attributes—including orientation, facial expressions and attractiveness, as well as perceived slimness—are systematically biased toward recent experiences.

Followed by 2019 paper inside Vision Magazine, which one Extended experimental method Our appreciation of art. Alais and his co-authors discovered that we do not evaluate every painting we see in a museum or gallery based on our own merits. On the contrary, we are more likely to have a “contrast effect”, and our appreciation of art also exhibits the same sequence-dependent bias. If we look at them after seeing another attractive painting, we will think they are more attractive, if we think they are more attractive, if the previous paintings are not so aesthetically attractive.

The next step is to examine the specific brain mechanisms behind how we “read” social information from other people’s faces. Alais believes that the phenomenon of facial illusion is related. “A distinguishing feature of these objects is that they not only look like faces, they can even convey a personality or social meaning,” He says, Such as a sliced ​​bell pepper that seems to be frowning or a towel dispenser that seems to be smiling.

Facial perception involves more than just the common features of all human faces, such as the position of the mouth, nose, and eyes. Our brains may evolve to adapt to these common patterns, but reading social information needs to be able to determine whether someone is happy, angry, or sad, or whether they are paying attention to us. Alais’ team designed a sensory adaptation experiment, which determined that we did deal with facial hallucinations in roughly the same way as real faces. Papers published last year In the magazine Psychological Science.


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