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Lisa DeBruine
Works at University of Glasgow
Attended McMaster University
Lives in Glasgow, UK
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Lisa DeBruine

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My new blog post dissecting an infographic on the dangers of sitting.
Image from Wired After hearing about the benefits of standing desks for a while now, I finally sorted out a standing desk at work last month. It's just an old desk I found, balanced on top of my or...
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Lisa DeBruine

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An article in the Telegraph on 21st October reported the development of a handheld bio sensing device that would scan food for the presence of bacteria to prevent food poisoning. How was this story...
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© dragon_fang | 123RF Stock Photo Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful, debilitating condition that affects up to 1% of the world’s population. With no known cure, only the symptoms are treated and, w...
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Another example of fake science reporting at the Daily Fail.
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My thoughts on a recent replication controversy

A couple days ago, a new paper appeared in PLoS One describing a series of studies that failed to replicate a set of classic priming studies. Yesterday, a news article appeared in Nature that grouped together this replication failure with cases of fraud. That's not a good thing. Follow the link to see why.

(+Gary Marcus has a nice New Yorker post on this same issue. I link to it in the blog post).
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Some research from colleagues at St Andrews showing that women's faces increase in temperature when they interact with men.
 
Women Glow for men

Researchers at the University of St Andrews found that non-sexual social interactions with men caused a noticeable rise in the temperature of a woman’s face, without them even noticing.

More here: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/news/archive/2012/Title,87049,en.html

There is a participative experiment, an iPhone app, and other information on face perception in general at the Perception Lab.: http://www.perceptionlab.com/

For #sciencesunday #scienceeveryday and +ScienceSunday curated by +Allison Sekuler , +Robby Bowles and +Rajini Rao 


Image: Leonardo Da Vinci's "Ginevra de' Benci" photo by dbking on Flickr
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why?
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Lisa DeBruine

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Well it turned mine into a very polite little monster who cleans up after himself, shares well with others, speaks to babies in sign language, encourages and sticks up for younger kids, and who surprised the hell out of us by already knowing his alphabet, counting to 20 and potty usage when we decided it was time to start teaching him. He's a great little monster.
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A recent article in the Guardian (Mon 21st Oct) reports on “Fructose: the poison index” in which they present arguments and an outrage at the recent EU ruling to not only substitute sucrose with fr...
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My first blog post on Research the Headlines. This one is a personal tale of the strange story behind a Daily Mail "science" article about my lab's alleged research. You'll be surprised where I found that the story originated.
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I'm working on some new demos where you can make animated gifs of face transformations. I'd appreciate any advice on the interface.

http://faceresearch.org/demos/transform
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I have a few different lines of research, but recently have focused on how people might use facial resemblance to recognize kin and allocate social and sexual behaviour. For example, I've used similar computer graphic techniques to create "virtual siblings" and then tested how people perceive these unfamiliar faces. Both men and women perceive opposite-sex virtual siblings to be especially trustworthy, but sexually unappealing (more info at http://facelab.org/debruine/Publications/trustworthy).

I also research how the behavioural immune system influences our social interactions. I've published a few papers establishing that women who are more concerned about pathogens, who live in regions with higher pathogen prevalence, or who are exposed to cues of pathogens (i.e., disgusting pictures) have higher preferences for cues of testosterone in male faces. This is work testing ideas about why women might differ so much in their preference for male masculinity and what male masculinity might signal.
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A fairly coherent argument against the common misunderstandings of the relationship between evolutionary psychology and feminism.

I've never really understood the idea that evolutionary psychology is inherently anti-feminist. Indeed, I perceive that there are more self-identified feminists in the ev psych community than in experimental psychology in general.
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I can see a coupe of issues here. Firstly a whole bunch of 90s popular Ev Psych writing (including from eminent members of our field) did little to help our cause by using words such as 'programmed' and making overly simplistic representations of ancestral behaviour. The non-academic writers have then run with this and it makes for a horrible, horrible load of overly-essentialist reading. In fact, I came to love Cordelia Fine's book on gender when I got to the third part and read extracts from the books which drove her to write her own!

Secondly, there's a real problem in sexual coercion/exploitation discussions to focus on the exploitee rather than exploiter. Given that I think we all agree a woman should be able to do/wear what she likes without it being taken as an invitation to be raped, looking into the cues men respond to isn't very helpful. Sure, they may indeed respond to these cues, but what we need to know is what kind of intervention will stop them thinking clothes/drinking/whatever are green flags. I think this is a case of having to be very careful about what we do with our data because there will be a strong tendancy for other people to take the path of least resistance; i.e. curb women's dress/behaviour, not work on educating men.

Finally, I think there is a tendancy in the field to make strong assumptions about biological underpinnings without strong data to support them. While I agree that it is implausible that the brain could be uniquely immune to sexual selection, I also have concerns that 'we' tend to assume that any apparently adaptive sex difference we document probably has a biological root cause (even if it is still changeable as all behaviour is). When in fact there's very little evidence to directly support that (intra-sexual evidence =/= inter-sexual evidence) and as a field we should be more aware of co-evolutionary and non-biological behavioural transmission. At some point I want to sit down and see if there's a theoretical paper in the idea that what we're really adapted for is sexual differentiation rather than specific differences per se, with cultural transmission carrying most of the 'beneficial' differences. Just an idea atm, but it's percolating away up there.
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Have her in circles
2,328 people
Kæñðärþ Patel's profile photo
Иветта Пироян's profile photo
Brett Szmajda's profile photo
Robert Seidl's profile photo
Nathan Bernstein's profile photo
Jeremy Jacobs's profile photo
Anneke Schreuder's profile photo
Kyle “BackslashEcho” Fernandez's profile photo
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Work
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Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Aberdeen
Employment
  • University of Glasgow
    Reader, 2005 - present
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Glasgow, UK
Previously
Aberdeen, Scotland
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Tagline
Evolutionary Scientist and Face Researcher
Introduction
I am the co-founder of the Face Research Lab at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

My main research interests are kin recognition, facial resemblance and face processing. Specifically, I am interested in how humans use facial resemblance to tell who their kin are and how people respond to cues of kinship in different circumstances. I am also interested in how the visual system learns about faces and what visual adaptation effects can tell us about the face processing system. I have published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals on these topics.

I was appointed in 2011 to the Royal Society of Edinburgh's inaugural Young Academy. I am also involved in the running of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES) and the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA).

I mostly post about science, especially evolutionary psychology, behavioural biology, and public science education. I have lived in the US, Canada and the UK, so my spelling is a bit random.
Education
  • McMaster University
    PhD Psychology, 2000 - 2004
  • University of Michigan
    MS Biology, 1998 - 2000
  • University of Michigan
    BS Biopsychology & Anthropological Zoology, 1994 - 1998
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Lisa DeBruine's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Face Research Lab
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The Face Research Laboratory