Have you ever found yourself looking at a photo or a person without remembering their name? If this is not the case you are certainly very: physiognomist. A quality, if so, which could well be useful to you in correctly answering the questions in our quiz. Or to simply find out if you are or not. The principle is simple, you have to guess the name of a famous person from their photo.
The rules are simple: we give you a photo of people known for a work, a creation… But you will see, for many of them, their name is better known than their face.
We give you a photo of this person, but it won’t be very useful to you because they are not very well known physically. Indeed, for many of them, their name is better known than their face. However, these personalities are world famous.
This test will therefore be an opportunity to test your physiognomy skills as well. Have you already looked into this question? What happens in our brain when we recognize a face and put a name to it?
Know, in all cases, that the ability to recognize people is unequally shared. On one side, champion physiognomists. On the other side, at the extreme, people suffering from prosopagnosia, that is to say incapable of recognizing a face. In this case, the brain suffers damage in several of its areas. How does our gray matter work? “The brain proceeds in two main steps. First it recognizes that it is a face, and it classifies it as such,” indicates Peggy Gerardin, researcher in cognitive sciences for the newspaper Le Progrès. The detection phase is based on common properties such as the presence of a nose, a mouth, two eyes.
“The brain is wired to detect faces.” Hence the famous “Toto head” immediately classified as a figure with only two circles, a cross and two lines… “The brain then identifies the face as familiar and then associates its name,” she continues. It reviews the position of the different elements, gaze, expression, age, gender, mood, then compares them to the information stored in memory. All this in 500 to 900 milliseconds!
During these operations, several areas of the brain are used: “The fusiform area of the faces, the superior temporal sulcus, the occipital fusiform area,” specifies the scientist. “But we don’t know exactly how the different areas interact, how it all works,” the specialist analyzes.
What about the difficulties in identifying a person? They can firstly depend on the context. “The brain hates to be surprised,” says Peggy Gerardin. In other words, he watches for everything he already knows. This is how we attribute human or animal shapes to clouds. Being a physiognomist (or not) probably also has something to do with attention, explains Peggy Gerardin. Moreover, those who easily recognize a face often have difficulty remembering names and vice versa.
Now it’s time to take the quiz and test your physiognomy skills! We offer you a 10-question quiz. You will find the answers on slide 11. Up to you.