divendres, 27 d’abril de 2012

"Facial Attraction: Choice Of Sexual Partner Shaped The Human Face"

Men with large jaws, flaring cheeks and large eyebrows are sexy, at least in the eyes of our ancestors, researchers at the Natural History Museum have discovered. Facial attractiveness played a major role in shaping human evolution, as studies on our fossil ancestors have shown our choice of sexual partner has shaped the human face. 

ScienceDaily // Aug. 13, 2007

The face holds the secret to determining the sex of our ancestors and what makes us attractive to the opposite sex for reproduction.

According to palaeontologists at the Natural History Museum, men have evolved short faces between the brow and upper lip, which exaggerates the size of their jaw, the flare of their cheeks and their eyebrows. The shorter and broader male face has also evolved alongside and the canine teeth have shrunk, so men look less threatening to competitors, yet attractive to mates. 

At puberty, the region between the mouth and eyebrows, known as upper facial height, develops differently in men and women. Unlike other facial features, however, this difference cannot be explained simply in terms of men being bigger than women. In spite of their larger size men have an upper face similar in height to a female face, but much broader. These differences can be found throughout human history. As a result, a simple ratio of measures could be used to calculate facial attractiveness in a biological and mathematical way.

Dr Eleanor Weston, palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum said, 'The evolution of facial appearance is central to understanding what makes men and women attractive to each other. We have found the distance between the lip and brow was probably immensely important to what made us attractive in the past, as it does now.' 

Citation: Weston EM, Friday AE, Liò P (2007) Biometric Evidence that Sexual Selection Has Shaped the Hominin Face. PLoS One 2(8): e710. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000710


dimecres, 25 d’abril de 2012

"Research Turns the World Upside Down: New Study Examines Brain Processes Behind Facial Recognition"

When you think you see a face in the clouds or in the moon, you may wonder why it never seems to be upside down

ScienceDaily (Apr. 18, 2011) 
It turns out the answer to this seemingly minor detail is that your brain has been wired not to. Using tests of visual perception and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Lars Strother and colleagues at The University of Western Ontario's world-renowned Centre for Brain & Mind recently measured activity in two regions of the brain well known for facial recognition and found they were highly sensitive to the orientation of people's faces. The team had participants look at faces that had been camouflaged and either held upright or turned upside down. They found that right-side up faces were easier to see -- and activated the face areas in the brain more strongly -- thus demonstrating that our brains are specialized to understand this orientation. The surprise came when they found this bias in brain activity also applies to pictures of animals. Like faces, animals are biological visual forms that have a typical upright orientation. In the study, published in the current issue of the journal PLoS ONE, Strother and his colleagues propose that the human visual system allows us to see familiar objects -- not just faces -- more easily when viewed in the familiar upright orientation. They also demonstrated this bias can be found in the neural activity of those brain areas involved with the most basic steps in visual processing, when visual inputs from the eyes first reach the brain. In future research, the team hopes to chase down how this bias is set up in these early visual areas of the brain -- and what this tells us about how brain circuits can be modified by knowledge and experience.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110418152508.htm

dijous, 19 d’abril de 2012

Body language // Lenguage no verbal

Do you want to learn body language? You should follow Understanding Body Language. Liars, Cheats and Happy Feet [!]. Here comes a little example of his videos.

 Conrad Murray Trial - Nicole Alvarez - My Body Language Analysis. Michael Jackson. CJB

dilluns, 2 d’abril de 2012

Eric Kandel: A Biological Basis for the Unconscious?

" (...) We now know we make a lot of decisions, we choose our partner in part by unconscious evaluations. There are lots of decisions that are made unconsciously then consciously. Conscious decision-making is very good when there are two alternatives because you can focus consciously very effectively on one thing at a time. If you’ve got a lot of options . . . (...) That decision that you have to make is likely to be more effective if you make it unconsciously. So there is now a whole psychology on unconscious decision-making that is emerging, in part stimulated by Libet’s interest but also a continuation from Freud’s interest. "