When it comes to faces, context matters
New study sheds light on underlying effects of visual settings on brain processing and facial perception
How we perceive faces depends on the context, but why is that?
Humans experience this phenomenon daily. We look at hundreds of faces and make a judgment.
Until recently, we had little knowledge of how our brain computes signals to skew our interpretation of faces. However, a recent study involving UC Davis Health researchers has identified the brain mechanisms that play a role in how we connect outside contexts to facial recognition and perceptions. Previous research has shown that memories of our daily experiences influence the context of a place or event.
We perceive a person as a possible arsonist if their face is seen alongside a burning building. But putting that same face on a beach or next to a dog makes it more likely that the face will be perceived as friendly and happy." — Jack J. Lin, professor of neurology, director of the UC Davis Comprehensive Epilepsy Program, and Center for Mind and Brain faculty member