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Thread: Humans Can See Race and Sex Even in Simple Outlines

  1. #1
    Philosophia's Avatar
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    Humans Can See Race and Sex Even in Simple Outlines

    Humans Can See Race and Sex Even in Simple Outlines

    Adult minds are so keen at spotting race, gender and age that we can correctly guess those features from nothing more than a black-and-white silhouette, new experiments show.

    "It's surprising how much information the silhouette provides," said Stanford University cognitive psychologist Nicolas Davidenko, who led the study. "We rarely have to identify a person in a silhouette, yet in the experiment, people can do that without difficulty."

    The way that our brains process faces, he said, seems so flexible that our minds can even assign people to social and biological categories drawing only on views that occur less commonly in our daily lives—including black-and-white profiles.

    Davidenko found that people correctly identified the gender of the person in silhouettes 70 percent of the time. Meanwhile, people guessed the correct age—to within 10 years—68 percent of the time. The study details are published in the March 21 issue of the Journal of Vision.
    From here.

    Interesting. Never really thought about it....
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Yeah, I can see that. Males have an adam's apple, females don't. Asians generally have a different shape to their eyes, blacks generally have a different shape to their noses and lips, native americans generally have higher cheekbones. Older people often have cheek jowls or saggy chins.

    70% accuracy is a little surprising though.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Lake Chaubunagungamaug
    Reminds me of the iPod commercials. They never show anything more than the sillhouette but it seems easy to guess.
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