"The face is a landscape - of emotions and information - which constantly changes, with expression and aging."

- Thierry Loa (2011)

FACES is an ongoing photo-ethnographic project examining faces of the modern human up-close and un-posed in public spaces. The two series currently online are

How do humans perceive one another?

The proportions and expressions of the human face are important to identify origin, emotional tendencies, health qualities, and some social information. Face perception refers to our understanding and interpretation of the face. It is very complex as the recognition of facial expressions involves extensive and diverse brain areas; some areas have been shown to be particularly vital such as the fusiform gyrus, an area of the temporal lobe known for color recognition and to cause prosopagnosia (face blindness) when damaged. 

Are we good at remembering faces?

Faces convey a wealth of information that we use to guide our social interactions. We are quite capable of storing away a substantial number of unfamiliar faces after only a single brief viewing of each. However when people are asked to reconstruct a face previously encountered, they experience considerable difficulty as few people are naturally good at describing nonverbal information. People with higher memory and cognitive abilities can process faces more efficiently and are more aware of the emotional content encoded within facial expressions.

Which you remember the most? Faces or names?

Most of us believe we are better at remembering faces than at remembering names. But is this impression accurate? The natural ability to produce someone's name when presented with their face has been shown in experimental research to be damaged in some cases of brain injury, hence suggesting that naming may be a separate process from the memory of other information about a person.

Photography by Thierry Loa

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