The Reading / Listening - Happy Faces - Level 5

The process of imagining a face in an inanimate object is called pareidolia. This is the tendency to see patterns in something where there is nothing there. We all see "false" faces in everyday objects. Many of us see them in clouds or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from a university in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain processes these false faces in the same way it does with human faces. Their research suggests there are some similarities in how we recognise both human and false faces.

In the study, 17 volunteers looked at different false and human faces. They rated the strength of emotion they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers said the same neural processing was involved in deciding what was or wasn't a real face. Researcher David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers." He said our brain sees two things at once, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the object. He added: "The first impression of a face does not give way to the second perception of an object."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Happy Faces - Level 4 or  Happy Faces - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.sciencealert.com/here-s-why-we-tend-to-see-faces-everywhere-we-look
  • https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/07/so-happy-to-see-you-our-brains-respond-emotionally-to-faces-we-find-in-inanimate-objects-study-reveals
  • https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2021.0966


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice activities, drag and drop activities, sentence jumbles, which word activities, text reconstructions, spelling, gap fills and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)





Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. a face in an inanimate
  2. the tendency to see
  3. there is nothing
  4. see false faces
  5. Many of us
  6. an electrical plug
  7. our brain
  8. there
  1. processes these
  2. in everyday objects
  3. see them in clouds
  4. object
  5. are some similarities
  6. patterns
  7. socket
  8. there

Paragraph 2

  1. different false and
  2. They rated the strength
  3. upon
  4. neural
  5. deciding what was
  6. our brain sees two things
  7. we focus more on the image
  8. the second
  1. or wasn't a real face
  2. processing
  3. perception
  4. of emotion
  5. of a face
  6. human faces
  7. at once
  8. seeing each one

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The process of imagining a face in (1) ___________________ is called pareidolia. This is the (2) ___________________ patterns in something where there is nothing there. We all see "false" faces (3) ___________________. Many of us see them in clouds or in an object as mundane as an (4) ___________________. Scientists from a university in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain (5) ___________________ faces in the same way it does with human faces. Their research suggests there are some (6) ___________________ we recognise both human and false faces.

In the study, 17 volunteers (7) ___________________ false and human faces. They rated the (8) ___________________ they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers said the same neural processing was (9) ___________________ what was or wasn't a real face. Researcher David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, (10) ___________________ of a face lingers." He said our brain sees two (11) ___________________, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the object. He added: "The first impression of a face does not (12) ___________________ the second perception of an object."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Theprocessofimaginingafaceinaninanimateobjectiscalledpareidolia.
Thisisthetendencytoseepatternsinsomethingwherethereisnothingt
here.Weallsee"false"facesineverydayobjects.Manyofusseethemincl
oudsorinanobjectasmundaneasanelectricalplugsocket.Scientistsfro
mauniversityinAustraliaconductedastudytoinvestigatewhetherourb
rainprocessesthesefalsefacesinthesamewayitdoeswithhumanfaces.
Theirresearchsuggeststherearesomesimilaritiesinhowwerecognise
bothhumanandfalsefaces.Inthestudy17volunteerslookedatdifferent
falseandhumanfaces.Theyratedthestrengthofemotiontheyfeltupon
seeingeachone.Theresearcherssaidthesameneuralprocessingwasin
volvedindecidingwhatwasorwasn'tarealface.ResearcherDavidAlaiss
aid:"Weknowtheseobjectsarenottrulyfaces,yettheperceptionofafac
elingers."Hesaidourbrainseestwothingsatonce,andthatwefocusmor
eontheimageofafacethantheobject.Headded:"Thefirstimpressionof
afacedoesnotgivewaytothesecondperceptionofanobject."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________

Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

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_____________________________________________________________________________

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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