There are days when you want to be invisible and there are days when you WANT TO BE NOTICED.
Now a bad hair day is one way to draw attention to oneself, but few of us would deliberately aim for a bad hair day, although they happen. In my case, more often than I would like – the gene for curly hair is not always a blessing. The sniggers or sympathetic stares a bad hair day evokes, is not likely to bring attention that is beneficial.
So is there a way to get noticed, to be the “face-in-the-crowd” that stands out, without looking like a freak ?
Well one idea is to wear red – it triggers some “hot” buttons, that are wired into our mammalian brain. But if red is really not a colour you look good in, or you haven’t colour co-ordinated yourself for the moment – then you may want to experiment with another ancient circuit. Teeth.
This week’s Neurotechnology Tips explains how to really get someone’s attention.
Smiling is not enough
If you’re thinking, hello, all it takes is a smile………… if I want a boy to notice me in the crowd, I flick my head back, so my long blonde hair (a good gene) bounces on my shoulder and then I flash him my pearly whites.
It’s not the smile, it’s the pearly whites, that draw his attention. A smile without teeth is just a curve on a face – not memorable. A smile showing some TEETH – this is something worth taking notice of.
Getting the brain’s attention
Researchers from Bielefeld University, Germany asked volunteers to spot “faces” in a crowd. The crowd was a virtual one i.e. a photo of a sea of faces.
The faces that consistently stood out – were those showing teeth. Of course, you can show teeth when you’re happy and when you’re mad, but the research showed, the brain rapidly picks up faces wearing the teeth accessory.
The teeth accessory
In the studies, a toothy grin and an angry snarl drew attention. Remarkably the angry snarl was actually no more effective, than the toothy grin. In fact, grins were picked up a smidgen quicker than snarls, by the people participating in the study.
The brain just simply “sees” teeth.
Biologically speaking the ability of teeth to generate attention, is probably connected with the inherent dangers posed by an angry snarl. Since the trouble with an angry scowl, is that it is a sign of a very annoyed individual. Enraged individuals seldom act rationally and the gnashing teeth are more often than not, a prelude to a more heated physical encounter.
Being wired into this possibility, so you can take the necessary evasive actions, is a smart thing to have wired into your brain.
To get noticed smile with feeling
To get ahead of the pack, you need to use all the tools at your disposal, so next time you need to be noticed, exploit a little neurotechnology…..
Don’t GRIN and bare it, but GRIN and bare them – your teeth.
The split second you expose your teeth, will be just enough to activate an ancient pathway and signal your presence.A toothy grin or angry snarl makes it easy to stand out in a crowd – press release from Association for Research in Vision and opthalmology (ARVO)
To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..
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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below