From Library Journal
Art and science join hands in this beautifully illustrated book on the subject of human facial perception. Bruce (psychology, Univ. of Stirling) and Young (applied psychology, Cambridge Univ.) describe the neurological processes that occur as we look at a face and suggest reasons for the almost universal reaction to beauty and certain features of facial "personality." Written to accompany a recent exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the book successfully illustrates psychological and neurological processes with pieces from the show. While emphasizing research in psychology, the authors also include relevant discoveries in the fields of medicine, biology, and engineering. Daniel McNeill's The Face (Little, Brown, 1998) covers similar ground in a slightly more engaging, accessible manner?though without the extensive and effective use of illustration found here. Both books are recommended for their organization, clarity of text, and unusual insight into human behavior.?Laurie Bartolini, Illinois State Lib., Springfield
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Scientific American
One of the marvels of human perception is how quickly we recognize a face and read its expression. No less impressive is our ability to call a face up from memory without actually seeing it. Bruce and Young are British psychologists who analyze both the psychology and the physiology of face perception. They wrote the book to accompany an exhibition, "The Science of the Face," presented by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh last spring. A number of portraits from the gallery serve to illustrate points in the tale, as do computer manipulations of facial characteristics. One learns a great deal about what goes on in the brain as one looks at a face, but in the end the authors conclude that "many things remain mysterious" about the process.