Sunday, August 13, 2017

Same face for male and female


In this illusion by Richard Russell, the same face appears to be female when the skin tone is made lighter (left image) and male when the skin tone is made darker (right image).

The illusion works because changing the skin tone affects the face’s contrast – the difference between the darkest parts of the face (lips and eyes) and lightest parts (the skin).

Few would regard facial contrast as a defining feature of either sex, but in fact, contrast is on average higher in females than males.

Even without consciously knowing it, our brains are attuned to the difference in contrast between the sexes, and so contrast is one cue the brain uses to determine gender. When other cues are removed, contrast can be the deciding factor.

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