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J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2006 Winter;18(1):73-80.

Facial shape and asymmetry by three-dimensional laser surface scanning covary with cognition in a sexually dimorphic manner.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The embryological unity over early fetal life of the anterior brain, neuroepithelium, neural crest, and facial ectoderm is responsible for facial dysmorphogenesis in disorders of early brain development, including schizophrenia. This study examined covariance of facial shape and asymmetry with cognition in a normal sample of 36 men and 51 women using geometric morphometrics. Facial shape and asymmetry covaried with verbal and visual spatial cognitive functions in a sexually dimorphic manner. Events over early fetal life may be an important determinant of sexually dimorphic covariance of anterior facial shape and asymmetry with aspects of cognition that involve the anterior brain.

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