Brain asymmetry and facial attractiveness: Facial beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder.

Chen, Audrey C. and German, Craig and Zaidel, Dahlia W. (1997) Brain asymmetry and facial attractiveness: Facial beauty is not simply in the eye of the beholder. [Journal (Paginated)]

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We recently reported finding asymmetry in the appearance of beauty on the face [39]. Here we investigated whether facial beauty is a stable characteristic (on the owner's very face) or is in the perceptual space of the observer. We call the question 'the owner versus observer hypothesis'. We compared identity judgements and attractiveness ratings of observers. Subjects viewed left-left and right-right composites of faces and decided which most resembled the normal face (Experiment 1). Identity judgements (resemblance) are known to be associated with perceptual factors in the observer. Another group viewed the same normal faces and rated them on attractiveness (Experiment 2). In each experiment there were two separate viewing conditions, original and reversed (mirror-image). Lateral reversal did affect the results of Experiment 1 (confirming previous findings [3,18]) but did not affect the results of Experiment 2. The fact that lateral reversal did not affect the results of Experiment 2 suggests that facial attractiveness is more dependent on physiognomy (of the owner) and less dependent on an asymmetrical perceptual process (in the observer) than is facial identity. The results are discussed in the context of beauty’s biological significance and facial processing in the brain.

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:hemispheric specialization, attractiveness, attractive, beautiful, right hemisphere, left hemisphere, symmetry, asymmetry, mate selection, evolution, sexual selection, identity, face recognition, sociobiology, brain, cortex, cerebrum, cerebral hemispheres, human, women, men.
Subjects:Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience > Behavioral Neuroscience
Biology > Evolution
Biology > Sociobiology
Psychology > Cognitive Psychology
Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Neuroscience > Neuroanatomy
Neuroscience > Neurology
Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Psychology > Psychobiology
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:151
Deposited By: Zaidel, Dahlia W.
Deposited On:10 Jul 2000
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53


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