Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd: Visible teeth are key

Date:
June 14, 2012
Source:
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
Summary:
Scientists have found new evidence that people spot a face in the crowd more quickly when teeth are visible — whether smiling or grimacing — than a face with a particular facial expression. The new findings counters the long held “face-in -the-crowd” effect that suggests only angry looking faces are detected more readily in a crowd.

Examples of stimuli -- closed mouth and open mouth with visible teeth -- presented in the experiment.
Credit: ARVO

Rockville, Md. -- Scientists have found new evidence that people spot a face in the crowd more quickly when teeth are visible -- whether smiling or grimacing -- than a face with a particular facial expression. The new findings, published in the Journal of Vision, counters the long held "face-in -the-crowd" effect that suggests only angry looking faces are detected more readily in a crowd.

"The research concerned with the face-in-the-crowd effect essentially deals with the question of how we detect social signals of friendly or unfriendly intent in the human face," said author Gernot Horstmann, PhD, of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Department of Psychology at Bielefeld University, Germany. "Our results indicate that, contrary to previous assertions, detection of smiles or frowns is relatively slow in crowds of neutral faces, whereas toothy grins and snarls are quite easily detected."

In two studies, the researchers asked subjects to search for a happy or an angry face within a crowd of neutral faces, and measured the search speed. While the search was relatively slow when emotion was signaled with a closed mouth face, the speed search doubled when emotion was signaled with an open mouth and visible teeth. This was the case for both happy and angry faces, and happy faces were found even somewhat faster than angry faces.

Horstmann and his colleagues conducted these experiments as a result of discrepancies in previous studies that investigated visual search for emotional faces. According to the research team, the inconsistent results with respect to which of the two expressions are found faster -- the happy face or the angry face -- suggested that the emotional expression category could not be the only important factor determining the face-in- the-crowd effect.

The scientists believe this new study may explain the discrepancies. "This will probably inspire researchers to clarify whether emotion and, in particular, threat plays an additional, unique role in face detection," said Horstmann.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). "A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd: Visible teeth are key." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614182554.htm>.
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). (2012, June 14). A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd: Visible teeth are key. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 14, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614182554.htm
Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). "A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd: Visible teeth are key." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120614182554.htm (accessed September 14, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. 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