The Reading / Listening - Happy Faces - Level 6

If you have ever imagined a face in an inanimate object, your brain is engaged in a process called pareidolia. This is the tendency to see a pattern or meaning in something, where actually there is nothing there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is a common experience. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the froth of a cappuccino, or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain processes these illusory faces in the same way it does with real 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 a series of illusory and human faces. They had to rate the strength of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers' conclusion was that the same neural circuitry was involved in determining what was or wasn't a real face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers." He added: "We end up with...a parallel experience that the object is both a compelling face and an object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at once, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it is an 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 easier levels:

    Happy Faces - Level 4  or  Happy Faces - Level 5

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 :-)





Warm-ups

1. HAPPY FACES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about happy faces. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       imagine / face / inanimate / process / tendency / smiley / clouds / investigate / false /
       volunteers / human / emotional / conclusion / perception / object / brain / object
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. SMILIES: Students A strongly believe people should put smilies everywhere; Students B strongly believe otherwise. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. IMAGINATION: Why does our brain imagine these things? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Why?

Do You?

Happy faces

 

 

Food

 

 

Your bed

 

 

Travel

 

 

Being famous

 

 

The sea

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. PROCESS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "process". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS: Rank these with your partner. Put the most interesting facial expressions at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Happiness
  • Surprise
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Awe
  • Hatred

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. inanimate a. Not real.
      2. engaged b. Not alive, especially not in the manner of animals and humans.
      3. tendency c. Become aware or conscious of something; come to realize or understand.
      4. common d. Participated or become involved in.
      5. perceive e. Happening, found, or done often; prevalent.
      6. froth f. An inclination toward a particular characteristic or type of behavior.
      7. illusory g. A mass of small bubbles at the top of liquid.

    Paragraph 2

      8. attachment h. Affection, fondness, or sympathy for someone or something.
      9. neural i. A graphical representation of someone or something.
      10. psychologist j. Relating to a nerve or the nervous system.
      11. lingers k. Creating interest, attention, or admiration in a powerfully irresistible way.
      12. parallel l. Someone who studies or works with the human mind and its functions.
      13. compelling m. Stays in a place longer than necessary because of a reluctance to leave.
      14. impression n. Occurring or existing at the same time or in a similar way.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Pareidolia is the brain seeing images in inanimate objects.     T / F
  2. The article says seeing faces in everyday objects is not so common.     T / F
  3. The article says many of us see smiley faces in coffee froth.     T / F
  4. Scientists say we recognise real and "false" faces in similar ways.     T / F
  5. Researchers conducted their tests on 170 people.     T / F
  6. The brain used a different neural circuitry when looking at false faces.     T / F
  7. A psychologist says we have a parallel experience with false faces.     T / F
  8. The psychologist says the image of a false face lingers in our mind.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. imagined
  2. pattern
  3. common
  4. investigate
  5. illusory
  6. series
  7. attachment
  8. perception
  9. lingers
  10. impression
  1. fake
  2. look into
  3. image
  4. design
  5. sequence
  6. awareness
  7. visualised
  8. stays
  9. normal
  10. affection

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. imagined a face in
  2. Seeing faces in everyday
  3. an electrical plug
  4. our brain processes these illusory faces
  5. Their research suggests there
  6. volunteers looked at a series of illusory
  7. rate the strength of emotional
  8. determining what was
  9. the perception of a face
  10. we focus more
  1. on the image
  2. in the same way
  3. and human faces
  4. lingers
  5. an inanimate object
  6. socket
  7. or wasn't a real face
  8. are some similarities
  9. attachment
  10. objects

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
inanimate
pattern
investigate
process
false
froth
way
common

If you have ever imagined a face in an (1) _____________________ object, your brain is engaged in a (2) _____________________ called pareidolia. This is the tendency to see a (3) _____________________ or meaning in something, where actually there is nothing there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is a (4) _____________________ experience. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the (5) _____________________ of a cappuccino, or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to (6) _____________________ whether our brain processes these illusory faces in the same (7) _____________________ it does with real human faces. Their research suggests there are some similarities in how we recognise both human and "(8) _____________________" faces.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
neural
parallel
way
series
fact
truly
strength
once

In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a (9) _____________________ of illusory and human faces. They had to rate the (10) _____________________ of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers' conclusion was that the same (11) _____________________ circuitry was involved in determining what was or wasn't a real face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not (12) _____________________ faces, yet the perception of a face lingers." He added: "We end up with...a (13) _____________________ experience that the object is both a compelling face and an object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at (14) _____________________, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the (15) _____________________ it is an object. He added: "The first impression of a face does not give (16) _____________________ to the second perception of an object."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  If you have ever imagined a face in ______
     a.  an animate object
     b.  inner animate object
     c.  an inanimate object
     d.  an inanimate objects
2)  Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the ______ cappuccino
     a.  forth of a
     b.  froth of a
     c.  firth of a
     d.  faith of a
3)  or in an object as mundane as an electrical ______
     a.  plug socket
     b.  plugged socket
     c.  plugs socket
     d.  plug sock it
4)  conducted a study to investigate whether our brain processes ______
     a.  these illusion faces
     b.  these illusory farces
     c.  these illusory faces
     d.  these ill usury farces
5)  there are some similarities in how we recognise both human ______
     a.  and falls faces
     b.  and farce faces
     c.  and fierce faces
     d.  and false faces

6)  In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a series of ______ faces
     a.  illusory and humanly
     b.  illusory and humans
     c.  illusory and human
     d.  illusory and humans
7)  The researchers' conclusion was that the _______
     a.  same neuro-circuitry
     b.  same know-all circuitry
     c.  same new rail circuitry
     d.  same neural circuitry
8)  We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of ______
     a.  a fay slingers
     b.  afar slingers
     c.  a farce lingers
     d.  a face lingers
9)  and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it ______
     a.  is an object
     b.  is an objects
     c.  is an objected
     d.  is an objection
10)  The first impression of a face does not give way to the second ______ object
     a.  purser suction of an
     b.  perception of an
     c.  purr section of an
     d.  purse action of an

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

If you have ever (1) ____________________ in an inanimate object, your brain is engaged in a process called pareidolia. This (2) ____________________ to see a pattern or meaning in something, where actually there is nothing there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is (3) ____________________. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the froth of a cappuccino, or in an (4) ____________________ as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether (5) ____________________ these illusory faces in the same way it does with real human faces. Their research suggests there are some similarities in how we recognise both (6) ____________________ faces.

In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a (7) ____________________ and human faces. They had to (8) ____________________ of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers' conclusion was that the same neural circuitry was (9) ____________________ what was or wasn't a real face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, (10) ____________________ of a face lingers." He added: "We end up with...a parallel experience that the object is both (11) ____________________ and an object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at once, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it is an object. He added: "The (12) ____________________ a face does not give way to the second perception of an object."

Comprehension questions

  1. What does pareidolia mean we have a tendency to do?
  2. What does the article say seeing faces in everyday objects is?
  3. In which part of a cappuccino do we see smiley faces in?
  4. What object does the article refer to as being mundane?
  5. What does the research say there are similarities in?
  6. How many volunteers took part in the study?
  7. What did volunteers have to rate the strength of when looking at faces?
  8. What circuitry was the same when the volunteers looked at faces?
  9. What did the researchers say lingers?
  10. How many things did researchers say we see at once?




Multiple choice quiz

1)  What does pareidolia mean we have a tendency to see?
a) spots
b) a pattern in something
c) stars
d) a tendency
2) What does the article say seeing faces in everyday objects is?
a) captivating
b) amusing
c) perceptive
d) a common experience
3) In which part of a cappuccino do we see smiley faces in?
a) the froth
b) the milk
c) the bottom
d) the cup
4) What object does the article refer to as being mundane?
a) clouds
b) coffee froth
c) an electrical plug socket
d) everyday objects
5) What does the research say there are similarities in?
a) human and "false" faces
b) how we recognise human and "false" faces
c) recognition and "false" faces
d) perception and human faces

6) How many volunteers took part in the study?
a) 77
b) 70
c) 17
d) 7
7) What did volunteers have to rate the strength of when looking at faces?
a) neural circuitry
b) glue
c) perceptions
d) emotional attachment
8) What circuitry was the same when the volunteers looked at faces?
a) neural circuitry
b) electrical circuitry
c) amazing circuitry
d) difficult circuitry
9) What did the researchers say lingers?
a) perception of a face
b) a smell
c) thoughts
d) dreams
10) How many things did researchers say we see at once?
a) three
b) two
c) many
d) countless things

Role play

Role  A – Happiness
You think happiness is the most interesting facial expression. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expressions. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): surprise, awe or disgust.

Role  B – Surprise
You think surprise is the most interesting facial expression. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expressions. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): happiness, awe or disgust.

Role  C – Awe
You think awe is the most interesting facial expression. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expressions. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): surprise, happiness or disgust.

Role  D – Disgust
You think disgust is the most interesting facial expression. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their expressions. Also, tell the others which is the least interesting of these (and why): surprise, awe or happiness.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'happy'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'face'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • imagined
    • nothing
    • clouds
    • plug
    • investigate
    • similarities
    • 17
    • strength
    • truly
    • end
    • both
    • second

    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 - Happy Faces

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'happy'?
    3. Do you see faces in inanimate objects?
    4. What do you think when you see faces in things?
    5. What do you think of smiley faces?
    6. What other things do you see in inanimate objects?
    7. What does a smiley face represent?
    8. What do you think of this research?
    9. How often do you draw happy faces?
    10. What makes you happy?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'face'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. Does looking at a happy face change your mood?
    5. Who is the happiest person you know?
    6. Why do cartoons and drawings show inanimate things with happy faces?
    7. What makes a happy face look happy?
    8. Should people always look happy in photographs?
    9. What would make you happier?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________

    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    If you have ever imagined a face in an (1) ____ object, your brain is engaged in a process called pareidolia. This is the (2) ____ to see a pattern or meaning in something, where actually there is nothing there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is a (3) ____ experience. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the froth of a cappuccino, or in an object as (4) ____ as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain processes these illusory faces in the same way it (5) ____ with real human faces. Their research suggests there are some (6) ____ in how we recognise both human and "false" faces.

    In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a (7) ____ of illusory and human faces. They had to rate the strength of emotional attachment they felt (8) ____ seeing each one. The researchers' conclusion was that the same neural (9) ____ was involved in determining what was or wasn't a real face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers." He added: "We end (10) ____ with...a parallel experience that the object is both a compelling face and an object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at once, and that we focus (11) ____ on the image of a face than the fact it is an object. He added: "The first impression of a face does not give (12) ____ to the second perception of an object."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     unanimous     (b)     inanimate     (c)     uniform     (d)     oxymoron    
    2. (a)     tends     (b)     tendency     (c)     tender     (d)     tend    
    3. (a)     commons     (b)     commoner     (c)     commonly     (d)     common    
    4. (a)     migraine     (b)     mundane     (c)     movement     (d)     manmade    
    5. (a)     takes     (b)     does     (c)     has     (d)     be    
    6. (a)     smiles     (b)     similes     (c)     similarities     (d)     same    
    7. (a)     serious     (b)     services     (c)     series     (d)     cereals    
    8. (a)     unto     (b)     until     (c)     upon     (d)     under    
    9. (a)     calamity     (b)     cattery     (c)     cutlery     (d)     circuitry    
    10. (a)     up     (b)     on     (c)     of     (d)     down    
    11. (a)     more     (b)     much     (c)     many     (d)     some    
    12. (a)     bay     (b)     lay     (c)     way     (d)     may

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. an tnimienaa object
    2. your brain is egaendg in a process
    3. the ncndeyet to see a pattern
    4. Many of us eercipve a smiley face
    5. an electrical plug sekcto
    6. these srylolui faces

    Paragraph 2

    1. 17 urnevstole
    2. rate the strength of oomtainel attachment
    3. the same neural tyircuric
    4. the perception of a face inslegr
    5. a cnlpgelmoi face
    6. The first mipsroensi of a face

    Put the text back together

    (...)  from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain
    (...)  there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is a common experience. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the froth of a
    (...)  pareidolia. This is the tendency to see a pattern or meaning in something, where actually there is nothing
    (...)  conclusion was that the same neural circuitry was involved in determining what was or wasn't a real
    1  ) If you have ever imagined a face in an inanimate object, your brain is engaged in a process called
    (...)  cappuccino, or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket. Scientists
    (...)  In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a series of illusory and human faces. They had to rate
    (...)  suggests there are some similarities in how we recognise both human and "false" faces.
    (...)  lingers." He added: "We end up with...a parallel experience that the object is both a compelling face and an
    (...)  processes these illusory faces in the same way it does with real human faces. Their research
    (...)  face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truly faces, yet the perception of a face
    (...)  object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at once, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it is an object. He added:
    (...)  "The first impression of a face does not give way to the second perception of an object."
    (...)  the strength of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing each one. The researchers'

    Put the words in the right order

    1. a   object   .   in   face   Imagined   inanimate   an
    2. see   pattern   .   tendency   a   is   the   to   This
    3. is   in   faces   Seeing   a   objects   experience   .   common
    4. illusory   Investigate   faces   .   brain   whether   processes   these   our
    5. some   there   are   Their   research   suggests   similarities   .
    6. of   series   faces   .   looked   at   illusory   a   Volunteers
    7. rate   strength   to   the   attachment   .   They   had   of
    8. these   not   objects   We   faces   .   know   truly   are
    9. two   once   .   sees   The   things   at   brain
    10. more   the   a   on   image   of   Focus   face   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    If you have ever imagined / ingrained a face in an inanimate object, your brain is engaged in a process called pareidolia. This is the tend / tendency to see a pattern or meaning at / in something, where actually there is nothing now / there. Seeing faces in everyday objects is a commonly / common experience. Many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds, in the froth / forth of a cappuccino, or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia conducted / contracted a study to investigate whether our brain processes these illusory faces on / in the same way it does with real / reality human faces. Their research suggests there are some similarities / similar in how we recognise both human and "false" faces.

    In the study, 17 volunteers looked at a series / serious of illusory and human faces. They had to rate the strong / strength of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing / seen each one. The researchers' conclusion was that the same neural / neutral circuitry was involved in determining what was or wasn't a real fact / face. Psychologist David Alais said: "We know these objects are not truth / truly faces, yet the perception of a face lingers." He added: "We end down / up with...a parallel experience that the object is both a compelling / compel face and an object." Mr Alais said the brain sees two things at once, and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it / this is an object. He added: "The first impression of a face does not give way to the second perception of an object / subject."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    _f  y__  h_v_  _v_r  _m_g_n_d  _  f_c_  _n  _n  _n_n_m_t_  _bj_ct,  y__r  br__n  _s  _ng_g_d  _n  _  pr_c_ss  c_ll_d  p_r__d_l__.  Th_s  _s  th_  t_nd_ncy  t_  s__  _  p_tt_rn  _r  m__n_ng  _n  s_m_th_ng,  wh_r_  _ct__lly  th_r_  _s  n_th_ng  th_r_.  S___ng  f_c_s  _n  _v_ryd_y  _bj_cts  _s  _  c_mm_n  _xp_r__nc_.  M_ny  _f  _s  p_rc__v_  _  sm_l_y  f_c_  _n  th_  cl__ds,  _n  th_  fr_th  _f  _  c_pp_cc_n_,  _r  _n  _n  _bj_ct  _s  m_nd_n_  _s  _n  _l_ctr_c_l  pl_g  s_ck_t.  Sc__nt_sts  fr_m  th_  _n_v_rs_ty  _f  Sydn_y  _n  __str_l__  c_nd_ct_d  _  st_dy  t_  _nv_st_g_t_  wh_th_r  __r  br__n  pr_c_ss_s  th_s_  _ll_s_ry  f_c_s  _n  th_  s_m_  w_y  _t  d__s  w_th  r__l  h_m_n  f_c_s.  Th__r  r_s__rch  s_gg_sts  th_r_  _r_  s_m_  s_m_l_r_t__s  _n  h_w  w_  r_c_gn_s_  b_th  h_m_n  _nd  "f_ls_"  f_c_s.

    _n  th_  st_dy,  17  v_l_nt__rs  l__k_d  _t  _  s_r__s  _f  _ll_s_ry  _nd  h_m_n  f_c_s.  Th_y  h_d  t_  r_t_  th_  str_ngth  _f  _m_t__n_l  _tt_chm_nt  th_y  f_lt  _p_n  s___ng  __ch  _n_.  Th_  r_s__rch_rs'  c_ncl_s__n  w_s  th_t  th_  s_m_  n__r_l  c_rc__try  w_s  _nv_lv_d  _n  d_t_rm_n_ng  wh_t  w_s  _r  w_sn't  _  r__l  f_c_.  Psych_l_g_st  D_v_d  _l__s  s__d:  "W_  kn_w  th_s_  _bj_cts  _r_  n_t  tr_ly  f_c_s,  y_t  th_  p_rc_pt__n  _f  _  f_c_  l_ng_rs."  H_  _dd_d:  "W_  _nd  _p  w_th..._  p_r_ll_l  _xp_r__nc_  th_t  th_  _bj_ct  _s  b_th  _  c_mp_ll_ng  f_c_  _nd  _n  _bj_ct."  Mr  _l__s  s__d  th_  br__n  s__s  tw_  th_ngs  _t  _nc_,  _nd  th_t  w_  f_c_s  m_r_  _n  th_  _m_g_  _f  _  f_c_  th_n  th_  f_ct  _t  _s  _n  _bj_ct.  H_  _dd_d:  "Th_  f_rst  _mpr_ss__n  _f  _  f_c_  d__s  n_t  g_v_  w_y  t_  th_  s_c_nd  p_rc_pt__n  _f  _n  _bj_ct."

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    if you have ever imagined a face in an inanimate object your brain is engaged in a process called pareidolia this is the tendency to see a pattern or meaning in something where actually there is nothing there seeing faces in everyday objects is a common experience many of us perceive a smiley face in the clouds in the froth of a cappuccino or in an object as mundane as an electrical plug socket scientists from the university of sydney in australia conducted a study to investigate whether our brain processes these illusory faces in the same way it does with real 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 a series of illusory and human faces they had to rate the strength of emotional attachment they felt upon seeing each one the researchers conclusion was that the same neural circuitry was involved in determining what was or wasnt a real face psychologist david alais said we know these objects are not truly faces yet the perception of a face lingers he added we end up witha parallel experience that the object is both a compelling face and an object mr alais said the brain sees two things at once and that we focus more on the image of a face than the fact it is an object he added the first impression of a face does not give way to the second perception of an object

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Ifyouhaveeverimaginedafaceinaninanimateobject,yourbrainisenga
    gedinaprocesscalledpareidolia.Thisisthetendencytoseeapatternorm
    eaninginsomething,whereactuallythereisnothingthere.Seeingfacesi
    neverydayobjectsisacommonexperience.Manyofusperceiveasmiley
    faceintheclouds,inthefrothofacappuccino,orinanobjectasmundanea
    sanelectricalplugsocket.ScientistsfromtheUniversityofSydneyinAus
    traliaconductedastudytoinvestigatewhetherourbrainprocessesthes
    eillusoryfacesinthesamewayitdoeswithrealhumanfaces.Theirresear
    chsuggeststherearesomesimilaritiesinhowwerecognisebothhuman
    and"false"faces.Inthestudy17volunteerslookedataseriesofillusorya
    ndhumanfaces.Theyhadtoratethestrengthofemotionalattachmentt
    heyfeltuponseeingeachone.Theresearchers'conclusionwasthatthes
    ameneuralcircuitrywasinvolvedindeterminingwhatwasorwasn'tarea
    lface.PsychologistDavidAlaissaid:"Weknowtheseobjectsarenottruly
    faces,yettheperceptionofafacelingers."Headded:"Weendupwith...a
    parallelexperiencethattheobjectisbothacompellingfaceandanobject
    ."MrAlaissaidthebrainseestwothingsatonce,andthatwefocusmoreon
    theimageofafacethanthefactitisanobject.Headded:"Thefirstimpress
    ionofafacedoesnotgivewaytothesecondperceptionofanobject."

    Free writing

    Write about happy faces for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    We need to see more happy faces everywhere. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. HAPPY FACES: Make a poster about happy faces. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. RESEARCH INTO HAPPY FACES: Write a magazine article about more research being done on happy faces. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on happy faces. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three of your opinions on happy faces. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.





    A Few Additional Activities for Students

    Ask your students what they have read, seen or heard about this news in their own language. Students are likely to / may have have encountered this news in their L1 and therefore bring a background knowledge to the classroom.

    Get students to role play different characters from this news story.

    Ask students to keep track of this news and revisit it to discuss in your next class.

    Ask students to male predictions of how this news might develop in the next few days or weeks, and then revisit and discuss in a future class.

    Ask students to write a follow-up story to this news.

    Students role play a journalist and someone who witnessed or was a part of this news. Perhaps they could make a video of the interview.

    Ask students to keep a news journal in English and add this story to their thoughts.

    Also...

    Buy my 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers eBook. It has hundreds of ideas, activity templates, reproducible activities for:

    • News
    • Warm ups
    • Pre-reading / Post-reading
    • Using headlines
    • Working with words
    • While-reading / While-listening
    • Moving from text to speech
    • Post-reading / Post-listening
    • Discussions
    • Using opinions
    • Plans
    • Language
    • Using lists
    • Using quotes
    • Task-based activities
    • Role plays
    • Using the central characters in the article
    • Using themes from the news
    • Homework

    Buy my book

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    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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