Amidst the hustle bustle of an overcrowded street in New York City, you suddenly, unexpectedly, out of the hundreds of people in your visual field, see the face of someone you know. Not only do you recognize them immediately, you also have an accompanying emotional response (love, hate, fear, etc). What’s up with that? In your brain, there is an area dedicated to perceiving faces, the Fusiform face area (FFA). It is outside of the visual cortex and near the amygdala, which is the emotional center of the brain. This means that faces grab attention, are recognized quickly, associate with emotion, and bypass the usual brain interpreting channels.
How do you react to faces in visual communications — ads, websites, presentations, etc.? Do they grab your attention? Do they trigger an emotion? How does the face, and soul, of your brand, stand out in a crowd to your prospects?
Kanwisher, N., McDermott J., Chun, M. The fusiform face area: Journal of Neuroscience, 17(11), 4302–4311.