Stand out in a crowd with visible teeth

June 21, 2012
A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd: visible teeth are key

Rockville, Md. — Scientists have found new evidence that people spot a face in the crowd more quickly when teeth are visible — whether smiling or grimacing —- than a face with a particular facial expression. The new findings, published in the Journal of Vision, counters the long held "face-in -the-crowd" effect that suggests only angry looking faces are detected more readily in a crowd.

"The research concerned with the face-in-the-crowd effect essentially deals with the question of how we detect social signals of friendly or unfriendly intent in the human face," said author Gernot Horstmann, PhD, of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Department of Psychology at Bielefeld University, Germany.

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