Face  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search
Old Toothless Man The image depicts the mechanics of facial expression while Duchenne and an assistant faradize the mimetic muscles of "The Old Man"
Enlarge
Old Toothless Man
The image depicts the mechanics of facial expression while Duchenne and an assistant faradize the mimetic muscles of "The Old Man"
Venus of Urbino (1538, detail) by Titian makes direct eye contact with the viewer
Enlarge
Venus of Urbino (1538, detail) by Titian makes direct eye contact with the viewer
As depicted by Michelangelo, a version of the Ancient of Days
Enlarge
As depicted by Michelangelo, a version of the Ancient of Days
The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
Enlarge
The Birth of Venus (detail), a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli
Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda.
Enlarge
Mona Lisa, or La Gioconda.
Designs by French artist Charles Le Brun, from Méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions (1698), a book about the physiognomy of the 'passions'.
Enlarge
Designs by French artist Charles Le Brun, from Méthode pour apprendre à dessiner les passions (1698), a book about the physiognomy of the 'passions'.
Les Poires, as sold separately to cover the expenses of a trial of Le Charivari
Enlarge
Les Poires, as sold separately to cover the expenses of a trial of Le Charivari
Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.
Enlarge
Illustration: Laocoön and His Sons ("Clamores horrendos" detail), photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The face is a central sense organ complex, normally on the ventral surface of the head for animals that have one. It can, depending on the definitifon in the human case, include the hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyelashes, eyes, nose, ears, cheeks, mouth, lips, philtrum, temple, teeth, skin, and chin. The face has uses of expression, appearance, and identity amongst others. It also has different senses like olfaction, taste, hearing, and vision.

Contents

Individuality and recognition

The face is the feature which best distinguishes a person. Specialised regions of the human brain, such as the fusiform face area (FFA), enable facial recognition; when these are damaged, it may be impossible to recognise faces even of intimate family members. The pattern of specific organs, such as the eyes, or of parts of them, is used in biometric identification to uniquely identify individuals.

Metaphor

By extension, anything which is the forward or world facing part of a system which has internal structure is considered its "face", like the façade of a building. For example a public relations or press officer might be called the "face" of the organization he or she represents. "Face" is also used metaphorically in a sociological context to refer to reputation or standing in society, particularly Chinese society, and is spoken of as a resource which can be won or lost. Because of the association with individuality, the anonymous person is sometimes referred to as "faceless".

Plastic surgery

Cosmetic surgery can be used to alter the appearance of the facial features. Plastic surgery may also be used in cases of facial trauma, injury to the face. Severely disfigured individuals have recently received full face transplants and partial transplants of skin and muscle tissue.

Caricatures

Caricatures often exaggerate facial features to make a face more easily recognised in association with a pronounced portion of the face of the individual in question—for example, a caricature of Osama bin Laden might focus on his facial hair and nose; a caricature of George W. Bush might enlarge his ears to the size of an elephant's; a caricature of Jay Leno may pronounce his head and chin; and a caricature of Mick Jagger might enlarge his lips. Exaggeration of memorable features helps people to recognise others when presented in a caricature form.

Perception and recognition of faces

Gestalt psychologists theorise that a face is not merely a set of facial features but is rather something meaningful in its form. This is consistent with the Gestalt theory that an image is seen in its entirety, not by its individual parts. According to Gary L. Allen, people adapted to respond more to faces during evolution as the natural result of being a social species. Allen suggests that the purpose of recognizing faces has its roots in the "parent-infant attraction, a quick and low-effort means by which parents and infants form an internal representation of each other, reducing the likelihood that the parent will abandon his or her offspring because of recognition failure". Allen's work takes a psychological perspective that combines evolutionary theories with Gestalt psychology.

Emotion

Faces are essential to expressing emotion, consciously or unconsciously. A frown denotes disapproval; a smile usually means someone is pleased. Being able to read emotion in another's face is "the fundamental basis for empathy and the ability to interpret a person’s reactions and predict the probability of ensuing behaviors". One study used the Multimodal Emotion Recognition Test to attempt to determine how to measure emotion. This research aimed at using a measuring device to accomplish what people do so easily everyday: read emotion in a face.

People are also relatively good at determining if a smile is real or fake. A recent study looked at individuals judging forced and genuine smiles. While young and elderly participants equally could tell the difference for smiling young people, the "older adult participants outperformed young adult participants in distinguishing between posed and spontaneous smiles" This suggests that with experience and age, we become more accurate at perceiving true emotions across various age groups.

Biological perspective

Research has indicated that certain areas of the brain respond particularly well to faces. The fusiform face area, within the fusiform gyrus, is activated by faces, and it is activated differently for shy and social people. A study confirmed that "when viewing images of strangers, shy adults exhibited significantly less activation in the fusiform gyri than did social adults". Furthermore, particular areas respond more to a face that is considered attractive, as seen in another study: "Facial beauty evokes a widely distributed neural network involving perceptual, decision-making and reward circuits. In those experiments, the perceptual response across FFA and LOC remained present even when subjects were not attending explicitly to facial beauty".

See also

See also

Namesakes




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Face" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools