Navigation Links
Men are red, women are green, Brown researcher finds
Date:12/8/2008

Michael J. Tarr, a Brown University scientist, and graduate student Adrian Nestor have discovered this color difference in an analysis of dozens of faces. They determined that men tend to have more reddish skin and greenish skin is more common for women.

The finding has important implications in cognitive science research, such as the study of face perception. But the information also has a number of potential industry or consumer applications in areas such as facial recognition technology, advertising, and studies of how and why women apply makeup.

"Color information is very robust and useful for telling a man from a woman," said Tarr, the Fox Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences at Brown. "It's a demonstration that color can be useful in visual object recognition."

Tarr said the idea that color may help us to identify objects better has been controversial. But, he said, his and related findings show that color can nonetheless provide useful information.

Tarr and Nestor's research is reported in the journal Psychological Science. The paper will be published online Dec. 8 and in print a few weeks later.

To conduct the study, Tarr needed plenty of faces. His lab analyzed about 200 images of Caucasian male and female faces (100 of each gender) compiled in a data bank at the Max Planck Institute in Tbingen, Germany, photographed using a 3-D scanner under the same lighting conditions and with no makeup. He then used a MatLab program to analyze the amount of red and green pigment in the faces.

Additionally, Tarr and his lab relied on a large number of other faces photographed under similar controlled conditions. (Tarr has made them available on his web site, www.tarrlab.org.)

What he found: Men proved to have more red in their faces and women have more green, contrary to prior assumptions.

"If it is on the more red end of the spectrum (the face) had a higher probability of being male. Conversely, if it is on the green end of the spectrum (the face) had a higher probability of being female," Tarr said.

To test the concept further, Nestor and Tarr used an androgynous image compiled from the average of the 200 initial faces. Trial by trial, they randomly clouded the face with "visual noise" that either included more red or green. The "noise" was not unlike static that can appear on a television screen with no signal.

Subjects were then asked to decide on the gender of the image, using nothing more than the random shape and color patterns over the sexually ambiguous face as a guide. Tarr describes the effect as a "superstitious hallucination," similar to being in the shower and hearing the doorbell or telephone even when neither rings.

Three Brown University students participated in the experiment for pay, and they all had normal or corrected vision with no color blindness. Each observer handled about 20,000 trials spread across 10 one-hour sessions.

Once the study was complete, the images identified by subjects as male or female were divided into two piles according to gender.

Each pile of images was then analyzed to determine the average color content across various locations in the images.

Across much of both sets of face images, Nestor and Tarr found that the "male" piles were redder and the "female" piles greener.

Such differences are not absolute some women's faces are much redder and some men's faces are much greener but overall, across this and related studies, Tarr has determined that observers use the color of a face when trying to identify its gender. That is particularly true when the shape of the given face is ambiguous or hidden.

Another study found, for example, that observers are quite sensitive to the color of faces when the facial images are blurred to the point where the face shape is almost impossible to see.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Hollmer
Mark_Hollmer@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Pregnant women with asthma can be more confident about some medicines
2. 17th Annual Congress on Womens Health convenes
3. Pregnant women consuming flaxseed oil have high risk of premature birth
4. Study: Elderly Women can increase strength but still risk falls
5. Vitamin K does not stem BMD decline in postmenopausal women with osteopenia
6. Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital expand national childrens study to Bristol County
7. Women do not recover their muscle strength as fast as men
8. Promising new treatment option for women with recurrent ovarian cancer
9. Cryopreservation techniques bring hopes for women cancer victims and endangered species
10. NYU receives $490k NSF grant to promote women in the sciences
11. Trends in prescription medication sharing among reproductive-aged women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Men are red, women are green, Brown researcher finds
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. ... the server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... the end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across ... has already secured over 15 million users across the ... of connected home product suites and physical access represent ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... March 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com ... Genome hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... will focus on developing health and wellness apps that ... Hack the Genome is the first hackathon for ... world,s largest companies in the genomics, tech and health ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... 28, 2017 The report "Video ... Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, VMS), and ... Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market ... is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion by 2022, ... The base year considered for the study is 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... company advancing targeted antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics, today confirmed licensing rights that ... Polymerized Liposomal Nanoparticle), a technology developed in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, ... ... risk management, technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences ... the BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... The HealthTech Venture Network ... at their fourth annual Conference where founders, investors, innovative practitioners and collaborators are ... pitch competition showcasing early stage digital health and med tech companies. , This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: