Balas B, Horski J, 2012, "You can take the eyes out of the doll, but..." Perception 41(3) 361 – 364
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You can take the eyes out of the doll, but...
Benjamin Balas, Joseph Horski
Abstract. The perceived animacy of a face is well-predicted by the perceived animacy of the eyes presented in isolation. This is not true for other facial features (eg having a highly life-like nose does not appear to be crucial), suggesting that the eyes are a critical feature for perceiving life in a face. Here, we asked whether it was therefore possible to ‘transplant’ animacy into a face by transplanting the eyes into a face image. We conducted digital eye surgery on a series of morphed human/doll faces and found that while doll eyes make a morphed face look less alive, human eyes do not make you look more so. Thus, we cannot so easily transplant animacy into a face, but we can take it away.
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