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Perception. 2011;40(2):191-5.

I know you are beautiful even without looking at you: discrimination of facial beauty in peripheral vision.

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School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, Lincoln LN6 7TS, UK.


Earlier research suggests that facial attractiveness may capture attention at parafovea. However, little is known about how well facial beauty can be detected at parafoveal and peripheral vision. Participants in this study judged relative attractiveness of a face pair presented simultaneously at several eccentricities from the central fixation. The results show that beauty is not only detectable at parafovea but also at periphery. The discrimination performance at parafovea was indistinguishable from the performance around the fovea. Moreover, performance was well above chance even at the periphery. The results show that the visual system is able to use the low-spatial-frequency information to appraise attractiveness. These findings not only provide an explanation why a beautiful face could capture attention when central vision is already engaged elsewhere, but also reveal the potential means by which a crowd of faces is quickly scanned for attractiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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