Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recognizing flipped famous faces might indicate the mental health problem body dysmorphic disorder

Date:
April 13, 2012
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Individuals with the mental health problem "body dysmorphic disorder" (BDD) cannot accurately detect negative facial emotions but they have an amazing ability to recognize famous faces - when they are upside-down.

Individuals with BDD are more likely to identify upside-down images of famous faces as they focus on individual features rather than process them as a whole.
Credit: Image courtesy of Pete Souza and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

According to researchers from the University of Hertfordshire, individuals with the mental health problem Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) cannot accurately detect negative facial emotions but they have an amazing ability to recognise famous faces - when they are upside-down.

Upside-down faces are difficult for most people to identify because we are used to processing them as a whole, and the right way up.  Individuals with BDD, however, process the faces in a different way because they overly-focus on the individual facial features. 

Professor Keith Laws, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University said: “People with Body Dysmorphic Disorder have an obsession relating to their body image, where they believe that they have a defect in their appearance. Often they are attractive individuals who focus negatively on specific features of their own body, especially their face.  Indeed, up to 15% of people who seek cosmetic surgery meet the criteria for a BDD diagnosis.”

The researchers found that because BDD patients focus on individual facial features rather than the whole face, this aids their ability to recognize inverted famous faces, for example they may be intimate with David Beckham’s eyes or Angelina Jolie’s lips. By contrast, they have difficulty recognising negative and threatening facial expressions because they may imagine that most other people are looking at them as critically as they view themselves. 

BDD is estimated to affect one to two per cent of the population. Individuals with BDD engage with time-consuming compulsive behaviours such as mirror-checking, applying make-up to camouflage and seeking reassurance about their appearance. Professor Laws and colleagues are now looking at whether the super-recogniser abilities of BDD patients may act as a marker for the disorder and whether this advantage exists to a milder form in the relatives of those with BDD.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Recognizing flipped famous faces might indicate the mental health problem body dysmorphic disorder." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413121914.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2012, April 13). Recognizing flipped famous faces might indicate the mental health problem body dysmorphic disorder. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413121914.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Recognizing flipped famous faces might indicate the mental health problem body dysmorphic disorder." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413121914.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins