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Caricatures and face recognition

Caricatures and face recognition – The “Ugly, pretty girls” post and video I blogged the other day got lots of interest. It seems face recognition and perception of faces is a fascinating subject for many people. Not surprising, really. Even in this digital age, face to face still beats any electronic interaction. Anyway, Wired have taken up this face recognition issue and report some interesting facts about how and why caricatures are so much more recognisable than the original face.

Our brains are incredibly agile machines, says Ben Austen, and it’s hard to think of anything they do more efficiently than recognize faces. Within hours of our birth, we can recognise face-like patterns. It takes the adult brain just 100 milliseconds to recognise such a pattern as a face. Neuroscientists now believe that there may be a specific region of the brain, on the fusiform gyrus of the temporal lobe, dedicated to facial recognition.

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