FACES--a database of facial expressions in young, middle-aged, and older women and men: development and validation

Behav Res Methods. 2010 Feb;42(1):351-62. doi: 10.3758/BRM.42.1.351.


Faces are widely used as stimuli in various research fields. Interest in emotion-related differences and age-associated changes in the processing of faces is growing. With the aim of systematically varying both expression and age of the face, we created FACES, a database comprising N = 171 naturalistic faces of young, middle-aged, and older women and men. Each face is represented with two sets of six facial expressions (neutrality, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, and happiness), resulting in 2,052 individual images. A total of N = 154 young, middle-aged, and older women and men rated the faces in terms of facial expression and perceived age. With its large age range of faces displaying different expressions, FACES is well suited for investigating developmental and other research questions on emotion, motivation, and cognition, as well as their interactions. Information on using FACES for research purposes can be found at http://faces.mpib-berlin.mpg.de.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Face*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult