We read a world of emotions in the faces we see every day, from the happy smile of a friend to the disgusted look of a passerby stepping in a puddle. These expressions – and our ability to recognise them – are used in a wide range of scientific research, from developing facial recognition software to studying conditions such as autism. But all faces are not the same. There are key differences between men, women, adults and children, and so far most databases of faces for research are made of grownups. The few collections starring kids show other features such as clothes, glasses and jewellery, which can be confusing. Now scientists have created a new database of photos of children’s faces for researchers to use, all shot in a way that minimises these distractions and featuring a range of face-pulling from boys and girls. Say cheese!
Written by Kat Arney
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.