A happy smile, a sad face: people have a multitude of expressions - and still we recognise each other. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen have researched the phenomenal brain work involved in the recognition process.
A research group under Dr. Isabelle Bülthoff has created a data bank containing 200 artificial human faces. These faces can be manipulated in many ways: they can be mixed, they can be converted from male to female or vice versa, they can be designed to look more or less characteristic.
With these software-created faces and elaborated experiments the scientists in Tübingen research the process of recognition. The results might help to design likeable virtual shop assistants or help people with medical conditions such as strokes to regain their facial expression.