Finding faces

Find out why we see faces in inanimate objects and learn about what features are most important in recognising a face.

Aims

Make anything look like a face.

ExpeRiment with how we see faces.

Learn which facial features are the most important for us to recognise a face.

  • Media

    Pen/pencil
    Paper
    Sticky tack
    A camera or phone (optional)

About this activity

Faces come in all shapes and sizes, and we’re incredibly good at recognising them. In this activity you will explore your ability to find faces in everyday objects.

By going out and looking for faces on inanimate objects you will learn about what combination of features is crucial in allowing us to recognise what we see as a face. 

Seeing faces, or familiar objects in random patterns is part of a phenomenon known as apophenia. This has been described as our need to make sense of randomness and find patterns and meanings where there aren’t any. So a cloud that looks like a dog fits into our model of the world better than a shapeless mass of water vapour.

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