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process of analogy

"Recognizing a face involves a process of analogy." Wikipedia: Face perception

People born in the 1960s and earlier may recall these faces as funny and harmless...?

Cindy Williams played Shirley Feeney in Laverne & Shirley (1976-1982), image from NNDB

Sally Field won an Academy Award for Norma Rae (1979), image from Celebrity Insights

Christine O'Donnell, starring in National Politics (2010), image from Oliver Willis Blog


Facial recognition is a topic of intense scientific study: papers, experiments, databases. 


Because humans are fascinating creatures to study. While normal people go merrily along fluently experiencing their emotions in real time, other people have been studying, and copying, and learning. Because for some, emotions are a foreign language.

Do you think that powerful people avail themselves of this research? We think they probably do.


1) Newborn human infants learn to recognize faces within months.

While there is no question that most face perception skills are not present in babies, there is evidence of an innate tendency to pay attention to faces from birth. Early perceptual experience is crucial to the development of adult visual perception such as the ability to identify friendly others and complex pre-verbal communications. By the age of two months face perception is developed in babies, as shown by tests which revealed specific areas of the brain were activated by viewing faces. (Wikipedia: Face recognition)

2) Emotions on people's faces play a significant role in our ability to recognize them again later.
"Emotions on peoples faces play a significant role in their recognition by others when they meet sometimes in the future, according to a study....The presence of emotional information in the face increases neural activity in the fusiform face area (FFA) of the brain that is associated with face recognition, something that can be used to design novel assessment and training programs." (Emotions are key to facial recognition, Thaindian News, September 17, 2008)

3) We recognize faces holistically, taking in the whole picture rather than specific details.

The Holistic Form theory of facial recognition says: "We look at the face as a whole (i.e. spacing, overall shape), including stored information related to it, for example emotion (which is important when recognizing a friend or relative). It is said to be a top-down theory because you look at the bigger picture first."

Note the following experiment from

"Here a famous experiment called the Thatcher illusion has been recreated, but using another former Prime Minister: Tony Blair. What differences do you notice between A and B?"

"However, when you look at the images the correct way up; it becomes much more obvious what the difference is."

"If you don't believe they are the same picture then just turn your head upside down! This suggests that faces are in fact viewed holistically because you do not detect that the eyes and mouth are inverted the first time around."

4) We can easily make errors when we see a familiar face, associating it with previous emotional content.

Online Psychology Laboratory: "Why do we make errors in recognition? Research indicates that memory is reconstructive rather than reproductive, a distinction originally made in Bartlett's (1932) classic work. In other words, what people recognize or recall is seldom an exact replica of an original event, object, or face, but is rather a re-creation of what has been experienced. As people undertake the task of reconstructing the past, they are influenced by multiple variables including, but not limited to, the extent to which the target memory is associated with other memories (Roediger & McDermott, 1995), or is linked to multiple contexts. In some cases, people may be confident that an event, object, or face is familiar, but may be unable to identity in what particular context they have seen it before. This effect of familiarity (Schacter, 2001) has been targeted as a source of false recognition in eyewitness identifications. Memory is also influenced by attention (Stanny & Johnson, 2000), encoding (the processes people use to bring information into long-term memory), the extent to which the encoding context resembles the retrieval context (Godden & Baddeley, 1975), and by the emotional content of the stimuli (LaBar & Phelps, 1998). With all these variables involved, it is not surprising that people have a tendency to make errors."

"What are the consequences of recognition errors? Insofar as facial recognition, errors can lead to the embarrassment that most people have experienced when they forget the name of someone to whom they were recently introduced. However, errors can be considerably more serious. For example, incorrect eyewitness identification may result in the long-term imprisonment of an innocent person who was incorrectly identified as a perpetrator."
Or, we may trust people we shouldn't trust?

By the way, smiling faces are better for human face recognition.

But smiling faces don't work as well on facial recognition software.


Human beings are remarkable.

Instead of cluelessly walking around like easy prey, perhaps human beings should pay closer attention to politicians and other public figures.

Perhaps human beings should read more and watch less teevee, or else watch teevee a lot more carefully.


Sally Field and Cindy Williams went to school together in Van Nuys, California. Sally's mother was an actress who divorced her father and married a stuntman. Cindy grew up in a poor family and dreamed of being an actress. Somehow she got lucky.

Williams was born in Van Nuys, California, to John and Lillie Williams. She has a sister, Carol Ann Williams. She graduated from Birmingham High School. Among her classmates were philanthropist and financier Michael Milken and fellow actress Sally Field. Cindy also attended Los Angeles City College and went on to become a movie actress in the early 1970s. She has appeared in 19 movies.

After college, she began her professional career by landing national commercials, which included Foster Grant sunglasses and TWA. Her first roles in television, among others, were on Room 222, Nanny and the Professor and Love American Style.

Williams picked up important film roles early in her career: George Cukor's Travels with My Aunt (1972); as Ron Howard's high school sweetheart in George Lucas's American Graffiti (1973); and Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974). She auditioned for Lucas's next project, Star Wars, but lost the role of Princess Leia to a younger actress, Carrie Fisher.

Reportedly, Cindy Williams was petty and difficult to work with.

Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams originally appeared as the characters Laverne DeFazio and Shirley Feeney on an episode of Happy Days. Producer Garry Marshall (Penny’s brother) thought that the pair worked well together, and that a Happy Days spin-off could become a ratings success. Williams was reluctant from the get-go, thinking that her co-star might get preferential treatment since her brother was the producer. One of the first concessions made for Williams was “cross billing” – when the opening credits rolled, the actresses’ names appeared simultaneously, with Marshall’s name at the lower left of the screen, and Williams’ at the upper right. (This way, neither was considered the show’s “top” star.) Nevertheless, Williams complained to TV Guide in 1977 that the writers gave Laverne more lines. Williams’ manager once appeared on the set with a stopwatch to “prove” that Laverne had more speaking time than Shirley. Before long, the raging arguments over such things as the square footage of dressing rooms became so heated that actors working on nearby sets could hear them. When Williams became pregnant in 1982, the producers proposed filming as many episodes as possible before she “showed,” and then having her sit out the next 10 episodes. Cindy sued, and was ultimately written out of the series.

John Todd claimed to be born into the Collins family, a family which brought witchcraft to the United States. He talks about people in the occult world who are also on teevee.

Listen starting around minute 6:00...

Cindy Williams starred in The First Nudie Musical, a 1976 American motion picture directed by Mark Haggard and Bruce Kimmel.

"The movie is a comedy starring Cindy Williams and Stephen Nathan. Nathan plays Harry Schechter, heir to a Hollywood studio forced to make a musical comedy porno in order to stave off bankruptcy. The movie features a series of farcical lewd musical numbers in the style of classical Hollywood musical comedies including: "Orgasm", "Lesbian Butch Dyke", and "Dancing Dildos." The movie has low-budget feel, with a "musical-within-a-movie" theme in the tradition of Singin' in the Rain but with satirical sexual humor. An early staple of Cinemax, it has become somewhat of a cult classic since its initial release and was released on DVD in 2001. It was one of several farcical musical-comedy collaborations between Kimmel (who also co-starred in the movie) and Williams, along with The Creature Wasn't Nice in 1981." (Wikipedia)

See: aangirfan -- the wild Catholic girl from New Jersey who dabbled in witchcraft

Christine O'Donnell, a wild sexy girl with Catholic origins, hopes to become the senator for Delaware in the November 2010 election in the USA.

Christine is the typical American politician.

She has dabbled in witchcraft. (Christine O'Donnell.)

...And reportedly she had a lot of sex. (Tea Party's newest darling turned her life around in Morris County ... )
Christine has a lesbian sister, according to reports. (Christine O'Donnell not homophobic, says her lesbian sister)
...Americans are easily fooled by their politicians.

But Christine has a nice smile, doesn't she?


Anonymous said…
She does have a nice smile.

- Aangirfan
A. Peasant said…
haha, totally. and she flashes it a lot.
Edo said…
Good Post AP!
Very McGowan-esque... :-)

PS - your page scrolls very slowly, or is it just me?
A. Peasant said…
hey Edo, thanks ; D

i don't know about the page. seems ok to me. ? could be one of the videos... ? sorry but i have no idea.
Timster said…
Wow. I used to be a photographer...but did anyone notice that all three of them have the same nose? Just sayin...
Anonymous said…
It's always an education coming here, AP!

Interestingly, though I picked the differences (mouth and eyes) in the Blair pictures, I couldn't put 'the meaning' to the differences until I saw the pics right way up.

It was still a shock emotionally even though I saw the differences intellectually. It was the emotions that gave me the meaning not my intellect. Well, something like that anyway!
the Silverfish said…
A little off topic but not really. I happen to have Six large working dogs, four Great Danes and two oversize Doberman s. The dogs are all guard trained and 90% of their commands are though facial expression, My facial expression and no other. I can work with my dogs all day long without uttering a word. It makes some people nervous as hell as they never know what the dogs will do or when.

Yuh know how some people make Yuh sorta queasy when you first meet them but you can't seem to put your finger on just why that is? Dogs seem to pick up on this much quicker than we do and there are some people that my dogs just can't stand, funny thing is that I take my dogs opinion of people very seriously and trust their judgment.

I wonder what my hounds would think of Tony Blair? The sock puppet Obama well they would just have that white house boy fer lunch methinks.
A. Peasant said…
i wish my dog would mind me like that, silv. we are so not there. but you can't hold it against people if your six giant guard dogs silently communicating with you makes them nervous! c'mon silv be fair, haha. i trust you wear your "wife-beater" undershirt while this is going on too, for full effect? ;D mwahaha...
the Silverfish said…
Awh shucks darn, nope no wife beater undershirts fer this ole boy. Mind you if I could just get the fine people at Armani to start making them then I'd be all for it and good to go. I mean like I'd really hate to be seen trashing that bitch hoe wife of mines ass while wearing the wrong ensemble. What would the boys down at the wine club say, (shudder)
veritas6464 said…
Hey Campo,...More good stuff from the desk of AP. Withcraft huh? They're all brunettes: You know, in the 60's and 70's the trend for girls was to colour toward blonde, if not platinum, during the eighties there came a shift toward brunette or raven and through the nineties and currently the majority of girls with mousey or brown hair will go dark, go figure.

When I was a young man I was devoted to blondes and when I became a man; I put these childish things behind me.

A. Peasant said…
hahaha, we'll have to get armani on that.

veritas, ha, i don't even know what to say without opening a pail of worms there.... be glad you're a guy.
Anonymous said…
Don't they call the new girl in Australia Bestia. Looks like the same deal there.