Navigation Links
Vivid descriptions of faces 'don't have to go into detail'
Date:10/21/2011

Celebrated writers such as Charles Dickens and George Eliot described characters' faces vividly without going into detail about their features, according to a research group led at the University of Strathclyde.

Experts in literature, psychology, neurology and music suggested that vividness can be created not only by describing individual features, such as the eyes, nose or chin, but by the strength of readers' feelings about how a person is depicted.

These feelings may be triggered by the 'mirror neuron system,' in which people who see an action being performed have the same regions of the brain activated as are needed to perform the action itself- for example, by flinching when they see someone injured.

The researchers illustrated their theory by highlighting descriptions of characters in works by writers including Dickens, Eliot, Geoffrey Chaucer and Sir Walter Scott. They found that, in many cases, the face was not explicitly mentioned but that the scientific literature suggests this may be more beneficial for forming a vivid response to the description.

Dr Elspeth Jajdelska, a lecturer in Strathclyde's Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, led the research. She said: "Faces are something we perceive in a different way to other objects.

"Psychological research shows that we perceive and process them as a whole, not as a set of features, and while some literary descriptions of a face supply pieces of information to be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, others may involve a holistic picture and an immediate response to what the author has described- these may not necessarily be accurate images, in terms of the face the author has in mind, but could still be very vivid.

"There is evidence to suggest that asking for a verbal description of a face can make it less easy for the face to be recognised and other research has called the effectiveness of the photofit identification technique into question- all suggesting that piece by piece descriptions of a face may not be the ideal way to communicate face information in words.

"However, a writer's description might produce a vivid response with only a partial description if it is also holistic, or draws on emotional qualities of the face."

One of the descriptions examined was of Bill Sikes, the character in Dickens' Oliver Twist, whose black eye is said to have "displayed various parti-coloured symptoms of having been recently damaged by a blow." The researchers suggested that this description could be more vivid than one which was more precise about the discolouration.

The researchers' theory defined 'vividness' in several ways, including: something belonging to a stimulus, such as a piece of text; an emotional experience produced by such a stimulus, or how realistic the mental images produced by text are.


'/>"/>

Contact: Corporate Comms
corporatecomms@strath.ac.uk
44-141-548-2370
University of Strathclyde
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Steve Jobs Faces Uphill Battle Against Cancer: Experts
2. Scrutinizing Faces Might Catch Liars, Study Finds
3. Genes May Control How Long You Look at Happy Faces
4. Used Football Faceshields May Break on Impact
5. Carnegie Mellon researchers uncover how the brain processes faces
6. Used football faceshields are susceptible to breaking on impact
7. Innovative technique gives vision researchers insight into how people recognize faces
8. How do we combine faces and voices?
9. Men with macho faces attractive to fertile women, researchers find
10. The too many faces of war -- why the war in Afghanistan is so complex
11. Health-Care Reform Faces Long Legal Fight
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Vivid descriptions of faces 'don't have to go into detail'
(Date:6/25/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, ... their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son ... lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t ... would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, ... and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their ... to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Tenn. , June 24, 2016  Arkis ... providing less invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid ... in funding.  The Series-A funding is led by ... Lighthouse Fund, and other private investors.  Arkis, new ... neurosurgical instrumentation and the market release of its ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality (Filler, Binder, ... Forecast to 2021" report to their offering. ... excipients market is projected to reach USD 8.1 Billion ... forecast period 2016 to 2021. The ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused on the ... announced that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized ... has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor ... the third quarter of 2016, and to report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: