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Neuropsychologia. 1997 May;35(5):685-93.

Perceptual asymmetries in judgements of facial attractiveness, age, gender, speech and expression.

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Perception Laboratory, School of Psychology, University of St. Andrews, Fife, U.K. or


Lateralization of perception of various facial attributes (age, attractiveness, gender, lip-reading and expression) was studied using chimaeric faces in which the sides of the face differed along one dimension (e.g. the left side was male and the right side female). Computer graphics were used to eliminate naturally occurring physical asymmetries (e.g. those present in the mouth during speech and spontaneous smiles) and obvious vertical mid-line joins in the photo-realistic chimaeric stimuli. Following previous studies, we found that subjects' judgements of gender and expression were influenced more by the left than the right side of the face (viewer's perspective). This left of face stimulus bias extended to judgements about facial attractiveness and facial age. This was not true of lip-reading stimuli; for these stimuli subjects were influenced more by the right than the left side of the face. Thus using free fixation, it appears possible to demonstrate in normal subjects that brain processes underlying judgements of facial speech display different lateralization from the judgements of other facial dimensions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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