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The face conveys information about a person’s age, sex, background, and identity; what they are feeling, thinking, or likely to do next. Facial expression regulates face-to-face interactions, indicates reciprocity and interpersonal attraction or repulsion, and enables inter subjectivity between members of different cultures. Facial expression indexes neurological and psychiatric functioning and reveals personality and socioemotional development. Not surprisingly, the face has been of keen interest to behavioral scientists.
About 15 years ago, computer scientists became increasingly interested in the use of computer vision and graphics to automatically analyze and synthesize facial expression. In the column article of the 2010 Nov. issue of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, entitled “Advances in Behavioral Science Using Automated Facial Image Analysis and Synthesis”, Dr. Jeffrey F. Cohn summarized key advances in behavioral science that are becoming possible through the development of action unit (AU) detection in naturalistic settings and real-time synthesis of photorealistic avatars.
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