Quantum - Face, The
From the ape, to the human, to the silicon substitute, The Face will take you on a remarkable three part journey behind the mast that makes the human face.
Part 1 - Recognition
The series begins with the evolution of the human face - from apes of old, to the face of today. Why has it taken the shape we know so well? The Face will trace the shaping of the face from its very beginnings. We'll uncover some of the age-old mysteries of the human face. Why it works the way it does - the complex myriad of muscles that control 10,000 different facial expressions. What is it that makes each of us look so distinctly different, yet so much the same? How can we recognise a face in the crowd and yet flounder when it comes to recognising a face from a different race? We'll explore the physiological and psychological miracle that makes our face the front-door to our identity - and how our remarkable ability to recognise faces is so crucial to our survival.
Part 2 - Signalling
This episode examines the face as a tool of connection - an "interface"- a face of survival. How do we manipulate our faces to get what we want? What do we learn from other faces? What do others learn from ours? We begin with the most primal signal of all - sexual attraction. Whether we like at it not, when we look at a face, we look at its symmetry - the key to what we call beauty. We look at "attractive"faces in the cold, hard light of evolution. In a world where our social interactions and our survival are at stake, we'll discover how the face and its uncanny ability to signal unspoken messages is perhaps the greatest miracle of all.
Part 3 - Remodelling
In our lifetimes we may witness the creation of artificial faces so lifelike we'll be unable to distinguish between our own face and a computer replicate. We'll one day see robots that can "say it all" in a glance. Computer faces so trustworthy, they'll replace human counsellors. Or will they? In the twentieth century, we're obsessed with faces. We adore beauty, and now technology is aiding us in our lunge for the ultimate "look". Cosmetic surgeons have already got the repair business down to a fine art. Now, they say, cosmetic surgery has become the new psychotherapy - with a scalpel! But perhaps surgeons' new understanding of the human face will be better used in reconstructing faces marred by birth defects? We'll join world-class researchers in their quest to perform a cranio-facial on Al Baluchi from Oman. We'll witness a face distorted by a genetic defect totally re-built, bones and all. It's confronting viewing, but you'll never take a face for granted again.
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