Importance of Eyebrows in Face Recognition

Cognitive psychologists are very interested in how we recognise faces (here’s a previous entry on face blindness). In their attempts to work out precisely how we manage this task they’re always carrying out strange experiments. None stranger than this article entitled: “The role of eyebrows in face recognition”.

This research actually found that eyebrows are more important in face recognition than the eyes. Plus they can make you look sexy:

“Practitioners in the field of facial aesthetics, such as make-up artists and cosmetic surgeons, have long appreciated the influence of eyebrows on attractiveness (eg Cosio and Robins 2000). During the 18th century, in fact, in Western Europe full eyebrows were considered so essential to facial beauty that some upper-class women and courtiers would affix mouse hide to their foreheads.”

You may laugh now, but you’ll be taking it seriously when Naomi Campbell is striding down the catwalk with two small fake-fur pelts dangling from her forehead.
Read the unexpurgated report (not for the faint-hearted)

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 9 April 2005

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