Article

The effect of left and right poses on the expression of facial emotion

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  • University of Melbourne / Flinders University
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Abstract

Research, using composite facial photographs has demonstrated that left-left composites are more emotionally expressive than are right-right composites. The present study investigated whether hemifacial asymmetries in expression are apparent in photographs, that feature one side of the face more than the other. Photographs were taken of the models who turned their heads: (a) 15 degrees to the left, (b) 15 degrees to the right or (c) faced directly towards the camera. It was predicted that left hemiface and midline photographs would be judged as more emotionally expressive than right hemiface photographs, where the left hemiface is less prominent. Three hundred and eighty-four participants viewed photographs of the three posing conditions, and rated each photograph along an emotional expressivity scale. Midline and left hemiface portraits were rated as more emotionally expressive than were right hemiface portraits. To investigate whether this effect was caused by observer's aesthetic/perceptual biases, mirror-reversed versions of the three posing conditions were included. Left hemiface and midline portraits were rated as more emotionally expressive, irrespective of whether they were mirror-reversed. It was concluded that head turns of just 15 degrees can bring about significant changes in the perceived emotionality. The relevance of these findings to painted portraits, which feature the left hemiface more than the right, is discussed.

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... There are also differences in perception of emotion based on pose direction. Individuals posing with a leftward posing bias are judged as more emotional than those posing with a rightward posing bias (Dunstan & Lindell, 2012;Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002). Further, portraits of scientists that displayed more of the right cheek were perceived as more scientific (ten Cate, 2002), and participants were more likely to rate individuals posing with a leftward posing bias as English students, and individuals posing with a rightward bias as Chemistry students (Lindell & Savill, 2010). ...
... The present study seeks to investigate how previously identified perceived differences in emotionality based on pose direction (Dunstan & Lindell, 2012;Lindell & Savill, 2010;Nicholls, Wolfgang, et al., 2002;ten Cate, 2002) affect ratings of perceived political orientation. We sought to explore this by presenting images of leftward and rightward posing individuals and asking participants to rate the perceived political orientation of that individual. ...
... We sought to explore this by presenting images of leftward and rightward posing individuals and asking participants to rate the perceived political orientation of that individual. Due to findings that leftward poses are rated as more emotional (Nicholls, Wolfgang, et al., 2002), and that liberals tend to be associated with greater emotionality (Farwell & Weiner, 2000;Hayes, 2005;Rule & Ambady, 2010;Winter, 2010), we hypothesize that individuals exhibiting a leftward posing bias will be rated as significantly more liberal than individuals posing with a rightward bias. ...
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Images of individuals posing with the left cheek toward the camera are rated as more emotionally expressive than images with the right cheek toward the camera, which is theorized to be due to right hemisphere specialization for emotion processing. Liberals are stereotyped as being more emotional than conservatives. In the present study, we presented images of people displaying either leftward or rightward posing biases in an online task, and asked participants to rate people’s perceived political orientation. Participants rated individuals portrayed with a leftward posing bias as significantly more liberal than those presented with a rightward bias. These findings support the idea that posing direction is related to perceived emotionality of an individual, and that liberals are stereotyped as more emotional than conservatives. Our results differ from those of a previous study, which found conservative politicians are more often portrayed with a leftward posing bias, suggesting differences between posing output for political parties and perceived political orientation. Future research should investigate this effect in other countries, and the effect of posing bias on perceptions of politicians.
... In particular, although in daily life cradling situations-irrespective of whether the infant is positioned more vertically over the shoulder or more horizontally in the arms-the cradling and the cradled individuals are rarely engaged in a fully frontal face-to-face interaction, when the infant's body is oriented toward the cradler, her/his left or right cheek is relatively more visible to left-and right-cradlers, respectively (interestingly, this particular positioning should not affect the mother's capabilities to correctly judge the infant's emotional expression [52]). Therefore, in the present study, we hypothesized that the LCB might also be associated with a preference for left-facing profiles (i.e., those showing the left-and more expressive-hemiface/cheek, especially with regard to negative emotions [53][54][55][56][57][58]) of human babies. In this regard, research showed that-even when only one profile is shown-the left hemiface is generally perceived as more expressive [59] (see also [54,55]) and its emotional valence is identified more accurately [60] compared with the right hemiface, especially when a negative emotion is displayed. ...
... Therefore, in the present study, we hypothesized that the LCB might also be associated with a preference for left-facing profiles (i.e., those showing the left-and more expressive-hemiface/cheek, especially with regard to negative emotions [53][54][55][56][57][58]) of human babies. In this regard, research showed that-even when only one profile is shown-the left hemiface is generally perceived as more expressive [59] (see also [54,55]) and its emotional valence is identified more accurately [60] compared with the right hemiface, especially when a negative emotion is displayed. In order to test our hypothesis, we assessed the cradling-side preferences of female participants in relation to their preference for the left-or right-facing profile depicted in the drawing of a human infant. ...
... Indeed, in line with past research [63,64], the majority of participants judged the profile at the top of the stimulus sheet as more attractive than the profile at the bottom. Although previous studies related the preference for left-or right-facing profiles to different variables such as cultural and demographic factors [69,72,78,79], reading/writing habits [80], handedness and other motor biases [69,80,81] (see also [82]), poser's sex [73,77], emotional expression [54,72,83] and trustworthiness [84], perceived person-related traits [74] and political orientation [85], and selfie-taking styles (i.e., with the camera pointing toward the selfie-taker vs. toward their reflection in a mirror [66,71]), no study has ever examined its possible relationship with cradling-side preferences. However, to be honest, such a link (at least in terms of the cradled individual's point of view) had already been proposed-although on a purely speculative basis-by McManus and Humphrey [73] and Conesa et al. [68,86], who hypothesized that the preference for left-facing profiles might arise from the LCB during a critical period for the development of vision (i.e., the first four months of life), given that when infants are held on the left arm of mothers, they are exposed to the left profile of the mother's face. ...
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The left-cradling bias (LCB) refers to the (typically female) preference to hold an infant on the left side of one’s own body. Among the three main accounts proposed for such a phenomenon, namely the “handedness”, “heartbeat” and “hemispheric asymmetry” hypotheses, the latter has met with the greatest empirical success. Accordingly, the LCB would facilitate the communication of socio-emotional information through the right hemisphere of both the cradled and the cradling individual, and should emerge mainly in face-to-face interactions. In this regard, it should be noticed that when the infant’s body is oriented toward the cradler, the left or right side of their face is relatively more visible to left- and right-cradlers, respectively. Therefore, we hypothesized that the LCB might also be associated with a preference for left-facing profiles (i.e., those showing the left, and more expressive, hemiface/cheek) of human babies. In order to test our hypothesis, we assessed the cradling-side preferences of female participants, as well as their preference for the left- or right-facing profile of a human infant depicted in a drawing. Left-cradlers exhibited a significantly larger preference for the left-facing version of the drawing compared with right-cradlers, a finding further corroborating the right-hemisphere hypothesis.
... No bias was found for portraits classified as being Psychology students. This bias in face posing was predicted from the finding that people posing with their right cheek facing the viewer are considered to be less emotionally expressive than people posing with their left cheek facing the viewer [2] and the literature showing that in the popular imagination, people studying a science, such as Chemistry, are considered to be less emotional than people studying an arts discipline, such as English [3]. That the two sides of the face are unequal in their emotional expressivity is an observation first attributed to Darwin, who noted in those around him a tendency to move the muscles on the left side of the face more than the right side of the face when expressing emotions [4]. ...
... The results demonstrate that there is a clear difference in the way academics in the sciences and the arts present themselves to the world: scientists, including Engineers, Chemists and Mathematicians, tend to show the right cheek more than English academics. Thus scientists reduced the visibility of their emotions while English academics promoted the visibility of their emotions [2]. It is important to note that this effect was observed even when sex was controlled for statistically, since there is a large disparity between the proportion of male and female academics that make up arts and science faculties [12]. ...
... That is, current academics present themselves in stereotyped gender roles with males inhibiting the display of their emotion and females readily displaying their emotion but students aged 18 to 24 do not relate gender to emotional expressivity so readily. In support of this position, some other studies using an undergraduate student sample have found that males and females are equally susceptible to the increased emotional information provided by the left cheek in portraits [2] and are equally moved to present the left cheek when attempting to be maximally emotional [9], though one study has found that male and female undergraduates differ in the presentation of their cheeks when they are asked to pose as themselves [15]. That the sitter does not have complete control over their pose in a photograph is a perennial problem in research using sourced portraits [9]. ...
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It is now standard practice, at Universities around the world, for academics to place pictures of themselves on a personal profile page maintained as part of their University's web-site. Here we investigated what these pictures reveal about the way academics see themselves. Since there is an asymmetry in the degree to which emotional information is conveyed by the face, with the left side being more expressive than the right, we hypothesised that academics in the sciences would seek to pose as non-emotional rationalists and put their right cheek forward, while academics in the arts would express their emotionality and pose with the left cheek forward. We sourced 5829 pictures of academics from their University websites and found that, consistent with the hypotheses, there was a significant difference in the direction of face posing between science academics and English academics with English academics showing a more leftward orientation. Academics in the Fine Arts and Performing Arts however, did not show the expected left cheek forward bias. We also analysed profile pictures of psychology academics and found a greater bias toward presenting the left check compared to science academics which makes psychologists appear more like arts academics than scientists. These findings indicate that the personal website pictures of academics mirror the cultural perceptions of emotional expressiveness across disciplines.
... It is assumed that turning the face to the right (showing the left cheek: left hemiface) affects the perception of some emotions. More precisely, the left side of the face was rated as more emotionally expressive and emotions were perceived more intense (see e.g., Sackeim et al., 1978;Zaidel et al., 1995;Nicholls et al., 2002;Jones et al., 2012;Lindell, 2013a,b;Low and Lindell, 2016). This is widely in accordance with findings that the left cheek is overrepresented in classical portraits, see e.g., Bruno and Bertamini (2013) and McManus and Humphrey (1973); but also see contrasting research by Lindell (2016) who worked on specific cases of art history (i.e., Vincent Van Gogh's work). ...
... More precisely, there is some evidence for the asymmetrical facial organization of these variables. For example, as aforementioned, the right side of the face (right hemiface) affects the perception of attractiveness, sex and age, participants gaze at the right side of the face longer, whereas, the left side is perceived as more emotional and more expressive (see e.g., Sackeim et al., 1978;Burt and Perrett, 1997;Nicholls et al., 2002;Butler et al., 2005;Lindell, 2013a,b). Due to the importance of lateral effects and the non-consistent findings reported in the literature, we have made an overview of lateralization effects on a variety of face-relevant variables in Table 1. ...
... However, direct comparison of left vs. right hemifaces revealed no significant difference. Accordingly, our results might contrast past findings according to which the left hemiface is perceived as more emotional (see e.g., Sackeim et al., 1978;Zaidel et al., 1995;Nicholls et al., 2002;Jones et al., 2012;Lindell, 2013a,b;Low and Lindell, 2016). However, to the author's knowledge, there is no investigation on the perception of sympathy with respect to viewing perspective. ...
Article
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Taking selfies is now becoming a standard human habit. However, as a social phenomenon, research is still in the fledgling stage and the scientific framework is sparse. Selfies allow us to share social information with others in a compact format. Furthermore, we are able to control important photographic and compositional aspects, such as perspective, which have a strong impact on the assessment of a face (e.g., demonstrated by the height-weight illusion, effects of gaze direction, faceism-index). In Study 1, we focused on the impact of perspective (left/right hemiface, above/below vs. frontal presentation) on higher cognitive variables and let 172 participants rate the perceived attractiveness, helpfulness, sympathy, dominance, distinctiveness, and intelligence, plus important information on health issues (e.g., body weight), on the basis of 14 3D faces. We could show that lateral snapshots yielded higher ratings for attractiveness compared to the classical frontal view. However, this effect was more pronounced for left hemifaces and especially female faces. Compared to the frontal condition, 30 • right hemifaces were rated as more helpful, but only for female faces while faces viewed from above were perceived as significant less helpful. Direct comparison between left vs. right hemifaces revealed no effect. Relating to sympathy, we only found a significant effect for 30 • right male hemifaces, but only in comparison to the frontal condition. Furthermore, female 30 • right hemifaces were perceived as more intelligent. Relating to body weight, we replicated the so-called " height-weight illusion. " Other variables remained unaffected. In Study 2, we investigated the impact of a typical selfie-style condition by presenting the respective faces from a lateral (left/right) and tilted (lower/higher) vantage point. Most importantly, depending on what persons wish to express with a selfie, a systematic change of perspective can strongly optimize their message; e.g., increasing their attractiveness by shooting from above left, and in contrast, decreasing their expressed helpfulness by shooting from below. We could further extent past findings relating to the height-weight illusion and showed that an additional rotation of the camera positively affected the perception of body weight (lower body weight). We discuss potential explanations for perspective-related effects, especially gender-related ones.
... Consequently, people intuitively offer the left cheek when asked to pose for a photo expressing emotion, and the right cheek when posing for a photo that conceals emotion (Nicholls et al., 1999). Consistently, viewers perceive models in left cheek poses as more emotionally expressive and open than identical models in right cheek poses (Nicholls et al., 2002;see Lindell, 2013b, for review). ...
... Of the 43 participants who showed a very strong bias toward one pose in their selfie corpora (8 or more out of 10 selfies in one pose orientation), 46.5% had 8 or more left cheek selfies, 32.6% had 8 or more right cheek selfies, and 20.9% had 8 or more midline selfies. Given that selfies show the world one's subjective self-image (Souza et al., 2015), the greater than expected proportion of participants showing an overall left cheek bias suggests that selfie-takers intuitively favor the more emotionally expressive self-representation communicated in left cheek and midline, rather than right cheek, poses (e.g., Nicholls et al., 2002). ...
... This tendency to favor lateral, rather than head-on, selfie poses has been repeatedly reported in previous lab-based (Bruno and Bertamini, 2013;Bruno et al., in press) and real world (Bruno et al., 2015) investigations. Whilst research indicates that midline portrait poses are perceived as being just as emotionally expressive as left cheek poses (Nicholls et al., 2002), Lindell (2017) suggested that midline poses are less frequently adopted for a simple reason: they appear less flattering (e.g., driver's license, passport photo). Tips for posing for the "perfect portrait" and the "perfect selfie" regularly include avoiding facing the camera head on in a midline pose, unless one is aiming to look bigger; instead, adopting a 3/4 or 2/3 turn toward the camera is encouraged because it introduces more angles, highlights the cheekbones, and makes the subject of the photo appear slimmer (e.g., Manning, 2011;Olsen, 2012). ...
Article
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Painted and photographic portraits of others show an asymmetric bias: people favor their left cheek. Both experimental and database studies confirm that the left cheek bias extends to selfies. To date all such selfie studies have been cross-sectional; whether individual selfie-takers tend to consistently favor the same pose orientation, or switch between multiple poses, remains to be determined. The present study thus examined intra-individual consistency in selfie pose orientations. Two hundred selfie-taking participants (100 male and 100 female) were identified by searching #selfie on Instagram. The most recent 10 single-subject selfies for the each of the participants were selected and coded for type of selfie (normal; mirror) and pose orientation (left, midline, right), resulting in a sample of 2000 selfies. Results indicated that selfie-takers do tend to consistently adopt a preferred pose orientation (α = 0.72), with more participants showing an overall left cheek bias (41%) than would be expected by chance (overall right cheek bias = 31.5%; overall midline bias = 19.5%; no overall bias = 8%). Logistic regression modellng, controlling for the repeated measure of participant identity, indicated that sex did not affect pose orientation. However, selfie type proved a significant predictor when comparing left and right cheek poses, with a stronger left cheek bias for mirror than normal selfies. Overall, these novel findings indicate that selfie-takers show intra-individual consistency in pose orientation, and in addition, replicate the previously reported left cheek bias for selfies and other types of portrait, confirming that the left cheek bias also presents within individuals’ selfie corpora.
... The left cheek bias for emotion expression is complemented by a left cheek bias for emotion perception: adults offer the left cheek to express emotion, and viewers perceive left cheek portraits as more emotionally expressive (see Lindell, 2013b, for review). For example, Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, and Lindell (2002b) presented participants with photos of models in left cheek, right cheek, and midline poses; participants were asked to rate the models' emotional expressivity. Importantly and unbeknownst to participants, half the images had been mirror reversed: if the left cheek is anatomically more expressive, it should appear more emotional than the right cheek even when mirror reversed, discounting the possibility that the left cheek preference results from perceptual biases. ...
... More recently, Harris and Lindell (2011) asked participants to inspect pairs of left and right cheek poses of models and select which appeared happier. Consistent with Nicholls et al. (2002b), results confirmed that adults perceive left cheek poses as more emotionally expressive; the left cheek was selected as appearing happier, even when mirror reversed. As such, data are congruent in indicating that the greater anatomic expressivity of the left hemiface prompts the perception of greater emotional expressivity in portraits that depict left cheek poses. ...
... In the perception task, children were presented with pairs of left and right cheek photographs and made a forced-choice decision, indicating which image in each pair looked happier (as previous investigations have confirmed that mirror reversal does not influence left cheek selections (e.g. Harris & Lindell, 2011;Nicholls et al., 2002b), only original orientation images were administered in the present investigation). If children possess an intuitive understanding of the left cheek's greater expressivity, left cheek biases will be evident in the posing and perception tasks; weaker or absent left cheek biases would instead imply that tacit knowledge about the left cheek's greater emotional expressivity develops on the basis of experience. ...
Article
As the left hemiface is controlled by the emotion-dominant right hemisphere, emotion is expressed asymmetrically. Portraits showing a model's left cheek consequently appear more emotive. Though the left cheek bias is well established in adults, it has not been investigated in children. To determine whether the left cheek biases for emotion perception and expression are present and/or develop between the ages of 3 and 7 years, 145 children (71 male, 74 female; M age = 65.49 months) completed two experimental tasks: one assessing biases in emotion perception, and the other assessing biases in emotion expression. Regression analysis confirmed that children aged 3-7 years find left cheek portraits happier than right cheek portraits, and age does not predict the magnitude of the bias. In contrast when asked to pose for a photo expressing happiness children did not show a left cheek bias, with logistic regression confirming that age did not predict posing orientations. These findings indicate that though the left cheek bias for emotion perception is established by age 3, a similar bias for emotion expression is not evident by age 7. This implies that tacit knowledge of the left cheek's greater expressivity is not innate but develops in later childhood/adolescence.
... Therefore, not only models' facial expression but also raters' perceptual bias may be responsible for hemifacial asymmetries in the perceptions of trustworthiness. Mirror reversal is often used to discriminate effects of models and raters in investigations of facial asymmetries (e.g., Chen, German, & Zaidel, 1997;Gilbert & Bakan, 1973;Levy, Heller, Banich, & Burton, 1983) and lateral posing bias (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002). The mirror reversal of face images reverses the lateral layout while keeping the image content constant. ...
... The mirror-reversal of the face photograph likely reversed facial asymmetries observed in naturalistic settings, such as emotional expression and attractiveness, thereby reducing typicality, familiarity, and ultimately facial trustworthiness. However, this interpretation is not so easy to reconcile with a number of studies showing that various judgements of faces can be made without noticing the image orientations (e.g., Chen et al., 1997;Levy et al., 1983;Nicholls et al., 2002Nicholls et al., , 2004a. These issues need to be clarified under a within-participants design in future research. ...
Article
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Our cognitive mechanisms are designed to detect cheaters in social exchanges. However, cheater detection can be thwarted by a posed smile, which cheaters display with greater emotional intensity than cooperators. The present study investigated the role of hemifacial asymmetries in the perception of trustworthiness using face photographs with left and right cheek poses. Participants (N = 170) observed face photographs of cheaters and cooperators in an economic game. In the photographs, models expressed happiness or anger and turned slightly to the left or right to show their left or right cheeks to the camera. When the models expressed anger on their faces, cheaters showing the right cheek were rated as less trustworthy than cooperators (irrespective of cheeks shown) and cheaters showing the left cheek. When the models expressed happiness, trustworthiness ratings increased and did not differ between cheaters and cooperators, and no substantial asymmetries were observed. These patterns were replicated even when the face photographs were mirror-reversed. These results suggest that a cheater’s fake smile conceals an uncooperative attitude that is displayed in the right hemiface, ultimately disguising cheater detection.
... In addition, viewers tend to perceive the actual left (vs. right) side of a poser's face as more emotionally expressive and aesthetically pleasing (Blackburn & Schirillo, 2012;Harris & Lindell, 2011;Lindell, Tenenbaum, & Aznar, 2017;Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002). As mentioned above, the left cheek bias has been welldocumented in the face perception literature. ...
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The layout of visual elements in advertising influences consumers' perception and judgments. The research reported here investigates the influence of the face orientation of a human model on the perception of their attractiveness and its downstream consequences on product evaluation. Across five experiments, we first demonstrate that consumers tend to perceive a model's face showing his or her left cheek as more attractive than when showing the right cheek, even when the images are otherwise identical. More importantly, we demonstrate the downstream influence of face orientation on the evaluation of advertised products whereby the leftward (vs. rightward) model's face increases the evaluation of the advertised product through perceived model attractiveness. We identify the underlying mechanism of the face orientation effect, namely, that consumers perceive those faces showing their left (vs. right) cheek as more prototypical, and that this perception of prototypicality elicits an aesthetic preference for the model's leftward face which in turn carries over to influence product evaluation. The theoretical and practical implications of this research are also discussed.
... 28, 192). For the study of the asymmetric aspects of facial emotion perception (Borod and Caron, 1980;Borod et al., 1988;Nicholls et al., 2002), each facial expression was taken from three angles (i.e., 90, 45, and 135 • ). Confounding variables that could draw observers' attention, such as makeup and varying lighting, were carefully controlled. ...
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Background: Developing valid emotional facial stimuli for specific ethnicities creates ample opportunities to investigate both the nature of emotional facial information processing in general and clinical populations as well as the underlying mechanisms of facial emotion processing within and across cultures. Given that most entries in emotional facial stimuli databases were developed with western samples, and given that very few of the eastern emotional facial stimuli sets were based strictly on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System, developing valid emotional facial stimuli of eastern samples remains a high priority. Aims: To develop and examine the psychometric properties of six basic emotional facial stimuli recruiting professional Korean actors and actresses based on the Ekman’s Facial Action Coding System for the Korea University Facial Expression Collection-Second Edition (KUFEC-II). Materials And Methods: Stimulus selection was done in two phases. First, researchers evaluated the clarity and intensity of each stimulus developed based on the Facial Action Coding System. Second, researchers selected a total of 399 stimuli from a total of 57 actors and actresses, which were then rated on accuracy, intensity, valence, and arousal by 75 independent raters. Conclusion: The hit rates between the targeted and rated expressions of the KUFEC-II were all above 80%, except for fear (50%) and disgust (63%). The KUFEC-II appears to be a valid emotional facial stimuli database, providing the largest set of emotional facial stimuli. The mean intensity score was 5.63 (out of 7), suggesting that the stimuli delivered the targeted emotions with great intensity. All positive expressions were rated as having a high positive valence, whereas all negative expressions were rated as having a high negative valence. The KUFEC II is expected to be widely used in various psychological studies on emotional facial expression. KUFEC-II stimuli can be obtained through contacting the corresponding authors.
... Photographs that present the left cheek are judged to be more emotionally expressive than those showing the right (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002), which can have important implications for the social judgements that are made from first impressions of faces. Asymmetries in the expression and perception of emotion are commonly investigated using composite faces, wherein one hemiface is mirror-reversed and fused with its original, to create a symmetrical face that consists of two left or two right hemifaces (Indersmitten & Gur, 2003;Okubo, Ishikawa, & Kobayashi, 2013;Sackeim et al., 1978). ...
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A turn of the head can be used to convey or conceal emotion, as the left side of the face is more expressive than the right. As the left cheek moves more when smiling, the present study investigated whether perceived trustworthiness is lateralized to the left cheek, using a trust game paradigm. In Experiment 1, participants were asked to share money with male and female "virtual partners." Left-left or right-right composite faces were used to represent the partners. There were no differences in the amount shared based on composite face, suggesting trustworthiness is not lateralized in the face. However, there was a robust effect whereby female partners were perceived to be significantly more trustworthy than males. In Experiment 2, the virtual partners presented either the left or the right cheek prominently. As in Experiment 1, the amount shared with the partners did not change depending on the cheek presented. Interestingly, female partners were again sent significantly more money than males. We found no support for lateralized trustworthiness in the face, suggesting that asymmetries in the face are not large enough to influence trustworthiness judgements. Instead, more stable facial features, such as sex-typical characteristics, appear to influence perceived trustworthiness.
... 43,44 Similarly, photographic portraiture with the subject showing the left cheek is deemed more emotionally expressive, irrespective of if the image is mirror reversed. 45 Muscles of the left-side of face have also been shown to move more than the right during emotional expression. 46 ...
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Background Facial symmetry is intimately correlated with attractiveness. Perfect facial symmetry is disconcerting and a degree of facial asymmetry is considered normal. There is a lack of data on the limits of normality across facial subunits. Objectives This systematic review aims to establish categories of facial asymmetry perception for facial aesthetic units by establishing a discriminative threshold of “deformity perception” across facial subunits and a threshold for intervention (unacceptable asymmetry). Methods A review of the literature was performed across Medline and Embase databases using OvidSP. All prospective studies evaluating the perception of progressive facial asymmetry in laymen or clinicians using a two- or three-dimensional model were included. Studies that did not evaluate rates of perception at varying degrees of asymmetry were excluded as these did not allow for the identification of a perceptive threshold. Results Each facial feature possesses a unique threshold of perception defined by an abrupt, statistically significant increase in detection. Asymmetry of the eyelid position at rest is the most sensitive facial feature (perceptive threshold, 2 mm) (P < 0.02). This is followed by deviations of the oral commissure (3 mm) (P < 0.001), brow position (3.5 mm) (P < 0.001), nasal tip deviation (4 mm) (P < 0.001), and chin deviation (6 mm) (P < 0.001). Desire for surgery for worsening deformities beyond the intervention threshold is characterized by an exponential, rather than linear, correlation. Conclusions Categories of facial asymmetry perception establish a framework to counsel patients with facial asymmetries, and are a valuable adjunct to clinical judgment in the management of static and dynamic facial deformities.
... Experiments using a Japanese noh mask, show that slight variations in pitch angle changes the two dimensional location of salient facial features which viewers misinterpret as non ridged changes due to muscle action [11]. Psychology experiments have shown that even a 15 @BULLET head pose change, results in statistically significant changes in how humans perceive emotion [14]. Some effort has been made to investigate into facial expression recognition for large head pose changes [22]. ...
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Multi-view facial expression recognition is important in many scenarios, as frontal view images are not always available. In this paper, we investigate facial expression recognition from frontal to profile view. Few works have investigated this issue on live captured data. A recent database, multi-pie, allows empirical investigation of facial ex-pression recognition for different yaw angles. Experiments are carried out on 100 sub-jects over 7 poses for 6 facial expressions (neutral, smile, surprise, squint, disgust and scream). Opencv frontal and profile face detectors are used to locate the face region. Head pose classifiers and pose dependent facial expression classifiers are trained using multi-class support vector machines (SVM). We investigate multi-scale local binary pat-terns (LBP ms) as well as local gabor binary patterns (LGBP) as texture descriptors.
... When the sex of the model was included in the analysis, it did not interact with portrait directionality nor with RWD. This is consistent with some prior findings, which show that portrait orientation can affect the impression of emotionality (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002) as well as potency and activity (dimensions highly related to agency; Benjafield & Segalowitz, 1995), but fails to affect consistently their aesthetic evaluation, neither for men nor women (Benjafield & Segalowitz, 1995;McLaughlin & Murphy, 1995). Present results, therefore, support the suggestion that portrait directionality has very little effect on the aesthetic impressions aroused in the perceiver. ...
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Does reading and writing direction (RWD) influence the aesthetic appreciation of photography? Pérez González showed that nineteenth-century Iranian and Spanish professional photographers manifest lateral biases linked to RWD in their compositions. The present study aimed to test whether a population sample showed similar biases. Photographs with left-to-right (L-R) and right-to-left (R-L) directionality were selected from Pérez González's collections and presented in both original and mirror-reversed forms to Spanish (L-R readers) and Moroccan (R-L readers) participants. In Experiment 1, participants rated each picture for its aesthetic pleasingness. The results showed neither effects of lateral organization nor interactions with RWD. In Experiment 2, each picture and its mirror version were presented together and participants chose the one they liked better. Spaniards preferred rightward versions and Moroccans preferred leftward versions. RWD therefore affects aesthetic impressions of photography in our participants when people pay attention to the lateral spatial dimension of pictures. The observed directional aesthetic preferences were not sensitive to the sex of the model in the photographs, failing to support expectations from the hypotheses of emotionality and agency. Preferences were attributable to the interaction between general scanning strategies and scanning habits linked to RWD.
... Considerable evidence suggests that emotional facial expressions are produced and perceived asymmetrically (Borod et al., 1998). For example, research using the chimeric-face paradigm found that individuals rate left-left composite pictures of facial expressions as more intense than right-right composites (Lindell, 2013;Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002;Sackeim, Gur, & Saucy, 1978). Such findings support the right hemisphere hypothesis for the encoding and decoding of emotional stimuli (Dimberg & Petterson, 2000;Sackeim et al., 1982;Schwartz, Davidson, & Maer, 1975), and on this hypothesis, greater facial expressivity occurs over the left hemi-face (LHF), compared to the right hemi-face (RHF) (Korb & Sander, 2009;Rinn, 1984). ...
Article
When forming basic social impressions, it is important to quickly and accurately classify facial expressions (including their spontaneity). Early studies on emotion perception, employing static pictures in the chimeric-face paradigm, demonstrated that expressions shown on the left hemi-face (LHF) were rated as more intense, compared to the right hemi-face (RHF). Interestingly, recent studies on emotion production, using high-speed video recordings, discovered an onset asymmetry (OAS) such that spontaneous expressions start earlier in the LHF, while posed expressions start in the RHF. Here, using highly controlled and dynamically developing video stimuli of avatar faces, we tested whether OASs in perceived faces influence the efficiency with which an expression is classified, as well as judgments of expression intensity, spontaneity, and trustworthiness. Videos of avatars making happy and angry expressions, with OASs of either 20 or 400 milliseconds, were judged on several social dimensions by 68 participants. The results highlight the importance of the LHF for emotion classifications and social judgments: Expressions with earlier LHF onsets were not only judged to be more spontaneous but were also detected more quickly and accurately (a difference that was most evident for angry expressions with a briefly presented OAS, but not for happy expressions). Generally, these findings underscore how adaptive social perception relies on subtle cues in the dynamics of emotional facial expressions.
... 1980; Borod et al., 1988; Nicholls et al., 2000). For example, Nicholls et al. (2002a) demonstrated that people who are more emotionally expressive are more likely to pose for a portrait offering the left-cheek; the paper argues that as females score higher on measures of emotional expressivity, they are more likely to pose offering the left-cheek. Nicholls et al. (2002b) then demonstrated that viewers perceive images of models offering the left-cheek as more emotionally expressive. Lindell (2013) offers a review of this literature. These findings are consistent with the idea that facial expressions are related to cerebral hemispheric laterality , and that the right brain hemisphere is dominant in proces ...
Article
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Portrait painters are experts at examining faces and since emotional content may be expressed differently on each side of the face, consider that Rembrandt biased his male portraits to show their right-cheek more often and female portraits to show their left-cheek more often. This raises questions regarding the emotional significance of such biased positions. I presented rightward and leftward facing male and female portraits. I measured observers' pupil size while asking observers to report how (dis)pleasing they found each image. This was a methodological improvement over the type of research initially done by Eckhard Hess who claimed that pupils dilate to pleasant images and constrict to unpleasant images. His work was confounded since his images' luminances and contrasts across conditions were inconsistent potentially affecting pupil size. To overcome this limitation I presented rightward or leftward facing male and female portraits by Rembrandt to observers in either their original or mirror-reversed position. I found that in viewing male portraits pupil diameter was a function of arousal. That is, larger pupil diameter occurred for images rated both low and high in pleasantness. This was not the case with female portraits. I discuss these findings in regard to the perceived dominance of males and how emotional expressions may be driven by hemispheric laterality.
... Not surprisingly then, Borod's (1993) review of 47 studies examining facial expression asymmetries in the normal population concluded that the left hemiface produces more intense emotional expressions than the right hemiface. As the left side of the face is more emotionally expressive, chimeric faces composed of mirrored left-cheeks are perceived as showing stronger emotion than mirrored right-cheek composites (Sackeim et al., 1978; please refer to Figure 1), and left cheek portraits appear more emotionally expressive than those showing the right cheek (e.g., Nicholls et al., 2002;see Lindell, in press, for review). ...
Article
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Where hemispheric lateralization was once considered an exclusively human trait, it is increasingly recognized that hemispheric asymmetries are evident throughout the animal kingdom. Emotion is a prime example of a lateralized function: given its vital role in promoting adaptive behavior and hence survival, a growing body of research in affective neuroscience is working to illuminate the cortical bases of emotion processing. Presuming that human and non-human primates evolved from a shared ancestor, one would anticipate evidence of organizational continuity in the neural substrate supporting emotion processing. This paper thus reviews research examining the patterns of lateralization for the expression and perception of facial emotion in non-human primates, aiming to determine whether the patterns of hemispheric asymmetry that characterize the human brain are similarly evident in other primate species. As such, this review seeks to enhance understanding of the evolution of hemispheric specialization for emotion, using emotion lateralization in non-human primates as a window through which to view emotion lateralization in humans.
... Further, Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, and Lindell (2002) found that differences in perceived emotionality may be induced by turns of the head of just 15û. Left hemiface and midline pictures were rated as more emotionally expressive than right, presumably due to the left hemiface being controlled by the right cerebral hemisphere, which is dominant in expressing emotion (Borod, 1997, cited in Nicholls et al., 1999. ...
... Still, the structural abnormalities in the composite images may posit questions on the generalizability of the findings. Therefore, other method, such as using a three-quarter view of faces (e.g., Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002;Nicholls et al., 1999), could be explored in the future. Okubo et al. (2012) demonstrated that successful cheater detection was thwarted by a posed smile, which cheaters display with greater emotional intensity than cooperators. ...
... These data indicate a significant preference to depict Christ on the cross with his head rotated to the right such that the left side of his face is facing the viewer. As we mentioned in the introduction, emotions are more strongly expressed on the left side of the face (Borod et al., 1988;Indersmitten & Gur, 2003;Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002;Sackheim & Gur, 1978). However, this bias cannot be related to a voluntary or requested pose, because Jesus Christ did not pose for these portraits and none of the artists directly viewed the crucifixion. ...
Article
In portraiture, subjects are mostly depicted with a greater portion of the left side of their face (left hemiface) facing the viewer. This bias may be induced by the right hemisphere's dominance for emotional expression and agency. Since negative emotions are particularly portrayed by the left hemiface, and since asymmetrical hemispheric activation may induce alterations of spatial attention and action-intention, we posited that paintings of the painful and cruel crucifixion of Jesus would be more likely to show his left hemiface than observed in portraits of other people. By analyzing depictions of Jesus's crucifixion from book and art gallery sources, we determined a significantly greater percent of these crucifixion pictures showed the left hemiface of Jesus facing the viewer than found in other portraits. In addition to the facial expression and hemispatial attention-intention hypotheses, there are other biblical explanations that may account for this strong bias, and these alternatives will have to be explored in future research.
... In order to control for effects of facial asymmetries (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002) in the final materials, originally left-or right-facing profiles were horizontally flipped to produce mirror images. Half of the participants received the original, half the mirror images. ...
Article
According to the spatial agency bias model, in Western cultures agentic targets are envisaged as facing and acting rightward, in line with writing direction. In four studies of Italian participants, we examined the symbolic association between agency and the rightward direction (Study 1, N = 96), its spontaneous activation when attributing agency to female and male targets (Study 2, N = 80) or when judging the authenticity of photographs of men and women (Study 3, N = 57), and its possible relation to stereotype endorsement (Study 4, N = 80). In Study 4, we used a conditioning paradigm in which participants learned a counterstereotypical new association; we developed a novel measure to assess the association between gender and spatial direction, namely, the spatial association task. Participants envisaged and cognitively processed male and female targets in line with the spatial agency bias model and reported lower benevolent sexism after learning a new counterstereotypical spatial association. Our findings raise awareness about the biased use of space (and its consequences) in the representation of women and men, so that all people, and especially communicators and policy makers, can actively intervene to promote gender equality. Additional online materials for this article are available to PWQ subscribers on PWQ’s website at http://pwq.sagepub.com/supplemental
... specific processes of configural features perception (Abbott, Wijerante, Hughes, Perre, and Lindell, 2014). This has been followed by studies in which the importance of the left and right visual fields were compared (Franklin and Adams, 2010) or studies on left-left vs. right-right facial symmetry (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, and Lindell, 2002;Chen, Liu, and Fu, 2007). ...
... However, it appears that the direction of head rotation impacts the creation of impressions differently (i.e., turning the head to the left or to the right were differently associated with deception). These results can be related to the work of Nicholls et al. (2002) who showed that turning the head to the right (52) was perceived as more emotional than turning the head to the left (51). Furthermore, when people were asked to adopt an 'emotional' role they intuitively turned the head to the right (52) to show their left cheek (i.e., hemiface more inclined to display emotions according to Nicholls et al. 1999). ...
Article
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The most commonly discussed nonverbal indicators in scientific literature about subjective cues to deception are gaze aversion, smiling, self-adaptors, illustrators, body movements, etc. One of the methods for studying beliefs is the closed question method (CQM). The CQM studies beliefs through written questionnaires in which facial cues are described with words. In the present study, the CQM was adapted to the study of facial expressions by using a photographic questionnaire. Indeed, instead of written descriptions in a questionnaire, we used photos of facial expressions to improve the classification of facial cues with contrastive participants (police officers and civilians). Fifty-four standardized photos of facial movements based on the facial action coding system were used as stimuli. The task was to determine whether a particular expression was more or less present during a lie. Results highlight cues perceived as more present (e.g., lip wiping) or less present (e.g., fear) during a lie. Only a few differences emerged between civilians and police officers (e.g., head lowering) suggesting that they had similar beliefs. The accuracy of police officers’ beliefs was better than chance, but remains low for such a professional. Results revealed many new beliefs about deception which can be of help in updating police training on this topic in order to decrease the number of false alarms about lies.
... Thus, Moscovitch and Olds (1982), Dopson et al. (1984) and Wylie and Goodale (1988) studied facial expression of emotions with video records of spontaneous emotions and demonstrated a general right hemisphere dominance for facial expression of felt emotions. Similar results were obtained by Campbell (1978), , , Heller and Levy (1981), Sackeim and Grega (1987), Borod et al. (1988), Moreno et al. (1990), Mandal (1998), andNicholls et al. (2002) using chimeric faces (i.e, composite photographs of posed positive or negative emotions, created using two left or two right half faces). These authors found that the left side of the face (presumably controlled by the right cerebral hemisphere) moves more extensively and appears more intense during emotional expression than the right hemiface. ...
Chapter
In this chapter the history of research on emotional laterality will be taken into account, starting from the pioneering investigations in this area and from the first observations of the different emotional behaviour shown by right and left brain-damaged patients. The experimental and clinical investigations which have studied the nonverbal communicative aspects of emotions in patients with unilateral brain damage and in healthy subjects during tasks of mono-hemispheric treatment of emotional information will then be analysed in some detail. The main models of emotional lateralisation prompted by these studies have been labelled: (a) ‘the right hemisphere hypothesis’; (b) ‘the valence hypothesis’ and (c) ‘the motivational approach/withdrawal hypothesis’. The next section of this chapter will take into account experimental and clinical investigations which have studied the lateralisation of the vegetative components of emotions, leading to assume that sympathetic and parasympathetic activities may also be lateralised. In the last part of the chapter, investigations which suggested laterality effects in the experience of emotions and the possible implications for psychiatry of different models of emotional lateralisation will be shortly taken into account.
... Photographs that present the left cheek are judged to be more emotionally expressive than those showing the right (Nicholls, Wolfgang, Clode, & Lindell, 2002), which can have important implications for the social judgments that are made from first impressions of faces. ...
Thesis
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Despite the cautionary reminder to never “judge a book by its cover”, we regularly judge others based upon their facial appearance. Far from meaning that we are all terribly judgmental, these trait impressions occur automatically. Even though they are often not accurate, the trait judgments that we make about others can influence our own decision making. The candidate with the more “competent” face wins approximately 70% of national elections, and criminals with “untrustworthy” faces receive longer prison sentences for the same crimes than those with “trustworthy” faces. Trait impressions have been the focus of research in the field of social perception since the earliest days of experimental psychology. While these studies have undoubtedly improved our understanding of the way that trait judgments are made from faces, the vast majority of these studies have been conducted by presenting observers with a single face at a time. However, we often meet people for the first time when they are surrounded by others, perhaps at a café or a bar. Consequently, very little is known about the way we make trait impressions about an individual face that is seen among a group of other faces. Within this thesis, I aimed to improve our understanding of the way that the facial attractiveness and trustworthiness of an individual is evaluated when they are seen among a group of other faces, compared to when they are seen alone. In the introduction to this thesis, I discuss the factors that influence the trustworthiness judgments that are made from the face, as well as the characteristics of faces that are perceived to be attractive. Then, I describe the way that the visual system processes complex visual scenes, such as a group of faces, using a process called ensemble coding. Bringing together these lines of research, I discuss “the cheerleader effect”, a phenomenon that is said to occur when the same face is perceived to be more attractive in a group compared to alone. The research in this thesis significantly advances our understanding of the cheerleader effect. My findings show that all individuals are perceived to be approximately 1.5-2% more attractive in a group than they are alone, regardless of how attractive they are, or how attractive the other group members are. I also show that the cheerleader effect does not extend to judgments of trustworthiness. Crucially, my findings are also inconsistent with the hierarchical encoding mechanism that was initially proposed to cause the cheerleader effect, which was related to the way that the visual system uses ensemble coding to summarise groups of faces. Based on the results contained within this thesis, I offer an alternative explanation for the cheerleader effect, which suggests that the effect might be related to the socially desirable characteristics that are attributed to individuals in groups. In conclusion, my findings demonstrate that social context reliably influences perceptions of facial attractiveness, and suggests that the field of social perception must be expanded to consider the influence of social context on the trait impressions that are made from the face.
... Thus, Moscovitch and Olds (1982), Dopson et al. (1984) and Wylie and Goodale (1988) studied facial expression of emotions with video records of spontaneous emotions and demonstrated a general right hemisphere dominance for facial expression of felt emotions. Similar results were obtained by Campbell (1978), , , Heller and Levy (1981), Sackeim and Grega (1987), Borod et al. (1988), Moreno et al. (1990), Mandal (1998), andNicholls et al. (2002) using chimeric faces (i.e. composite photographs of posed positive or negative emotions, created using two left or two right half faces). ...
Chapter
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This chapter will take into account some psychopathological implications of hemispheric asymmetries for emotions that are consistent respectively with the ‘valence hypothesis’ and the ‘right hemisphere hypothesis’. The former predicts that major post-stroke depression and secondary mania are caused respectively by left and right hemispheric lesions, whereas the latter predicts that various aspects of psychopathology might be subtended by right hemisphere dysfunction. Recent studies dealing with the neural substrate of major post-stroke depression have not confirmed the relationships between this disease and left frontal lesions. Furthermore, other studies have suggested that mania secondary to right hemisphere lesions might be related to a release of behavioural disinhibition rather than to a shift of mood toward an euphoric state. The relationships between right hemisphere dysfunctions and lateral distribution of psychogenic pain and conversion reactions remains controversial, whereas the dysfunction of the right hemisphere in content-specific delusions involving the misidentification or the reduplication of persons, places or objects is generally acknowledged. Several interpretations based on specific functions of the right hemisphere have been advanced to account for the special role played by this side of the brain in content-specific delusions.
... Thus, Moscovitch and Olds (1982), Dopson et al. (1984) and Wylie and Goodale (1988) studied facial expression of emotions with video records of spontaneous emotions and demonstrated a general right hemisphere dominance for facial expression of felt emotions. Similar results were obtained by Campbell (1978), , , Heller and Levy (1981), Sackeim and Grega (1987), Borod et al. (1988), Moreno et al. (1990), Asthana andMandal (1998), andNicholls et al. (2002) using chimeric faces (i.e, composite photographs of posed positive or negative emotions, created using two left or two right half faces). These authors found that the left side of the face (presumably controlled by the right cerebral hemisphere) moves more extensively and appears more intense during emotional expression than the right hemiface. ...
Chapter
This chapter concerns some recent trends in the study of the links between emotions and brain laterality and separately discusses: (a) negative data obtained by functional neuroimaging studies of the neural correlates of emotions; (b) laterality effects in brain structures that have a crucial role in specific emotional functions; (c) emotional and behavioural disorders of patients with asymmetrical forms of fronto-temporal degeneration (FTD). As to the first issue, both the methodological and the experimental reasons for the disappointing results obtained by functional neuroimaging studies will be briefly discussed. With respect to the second problem, attention will be focused on: (1) investigations showing that the right and left amygdala have different roles in the evaluation of emotional stimuli, i.e. the former is involved in unconscious and the latter in conscious forms of emotional learning; (2) results suggesting that the right vmPFC has a ‘general’ role in the integration between cognition and emotion and in the control of impulsive reactions; (3) data showing that the right anterior insula critically contributes to the conscious experience of emotion. Finally, investigations will be reviewed which show that emotional disorders are in the foreground in FTD when atrophy prevails in the right frontal or temporal lobes.
Article
The popular notion that “there's no accounting for taste” reflects a widely held belief that aesthetic preferences are inherently unpredictable. Yet a growing body of research suggests that subjective art appreciation is amenable to objective scientific investigation. This paper reviews the state of the art in the science of art research, examining the extent to which psychological research can account for art appreciation. Taking a two-pronged approach, we first examine how bottom-up variables intrinsic to paintings, including abstraction, form, complexity, and symmetry, reliably influence art appreciation. As the beauty of an artwork can only be appreciated by a beholder, we then examine how top-down influences, such as artwork novelty and viewer expertise, affect the understanding of, and preferences for, paintings. Though the notion that one could ever “fully” explain or predict an aesthetic preference may appear implausibly reductionist, this review demonstrates that scientific methods have shed significant light on a variety of factors that reliably influence art appreciation, paving the way to a greater understanding of the psychology underlying visual art.
Article
When posing for a painted or photographic portrait, people are more likely to offer their left, rather than right, cheek (e.g., the Mona Lisa). Why? This paper reviews research investigating the left cheek bias, and the reasons underlying this posing asymmetry. Ruling out mechanical and perceptual biases, the paper focuses on the silent emotional and social signals conveyed by left and right cheek poses, demonstrating that people intuitively offer the left cheek to express emotion and perceive left cheek poses as more emotional. Moreover, because the left cheek appears more emotionally expressive, we unconsciously use cheek shown as a cue when presenting or determining academic specialisation, scientific standing, and even political affiliation. The research is consistent in suggesting that something as subtle as a 15° head turn implicitly influences others' perceptions: if you want to be perceived as open and creative, rather than dry and scientific, it might be time to turn the other cheek.
Article
Human emotions guide verbal and non-verbal behaviour during social encounters. During public performances, performers’ emotions can be affected directly by an audience’s attitude. The valence of the emotional state (positive or negative) of a broad range of animal species is known to be associated with a body and visual orientation laterality bias. Here, we evaluated the influence of an audience’s attitude on professional actors’ head orientation and gaze direction during two theatrical performances with controlled observers’ reactions (Hostile vs Friendly audience). First, our speech fluency analysis confirmed that an audience’s attitude influenced actors’ emotions. Second, we found that, whereas actors oriented more their head to the left (i.e. Right Hemisphere Bias) when the audience was hostile, they gazed more straight ahead at Friendly spectators. These results are in accordance with the Valence-Specific Hypothesis that proposes that processing stimuli with negative valences involves the right hemisphere (i.e. left eye) more than the left hemisphere.
Article
Studies on the lateralization of facial perception and the asymmetry of facial emotional expressions date back to the 19th century. Several left-side biases have been identified: greater expressivity of the left side of the face, a left cheek bias (i.e. a preference to display one’s left cheek), a left visual field advantage (i.e. a preference and improved performance when stimuli are presented in the left visual field), a left gaze bias (i.e. a preference to direct and to spend more time looking at the left side of centrally presented faces, i.e. the anatomical right side). The simultaneous occurrence of these left-side biases, however, has hardly been studied. Thus, we recorded participants’ visual scan-paths and emotional intensity ratings of the depicted faces of pre-19th century self-portraits (i.e. anatomical left side of the face in the left visual field), portraits (i.e. anatomical left side of the face in the right visual field), and their mirror-reversed formats. Self-portraits evoked greater emotional intensity ratings and shorter latencies of the first fixation than portraits, regardless of their format. In addition, for self-portraits the duration of the first fixation was longer for the anatomical left hemi-face. We hypothesize that the observation of self-portraits may arouse greater sensorimotor engagement in the observer as a result of the greater sensorimotor engagement of the artist while painting them.
Article
One of the less-known functional asymmetries in humans is the rightward head-turning bias, in which infants spend more time turning their head to the right, rather than to the left. Observational studies showed that this asymmetry disappears around the age of 3 months. Recently, an intriguing observation found a similar rightward head-turning bias during kissing, apparently indicating that the early head-motor bias persists into adulthood. Here we challenge the theory of the innate head-turning bias in adults during lip kissing, showing by means of behavioral and observational studies that the direction of the bias is culturally dependent. Moreover, we suggest that the head-turning bias during kissing is an acquired behavioral asymmetry, probably shaped by spatial experience within cultural habits (i.e., reading direction), rather than reflecting pre-wired hemispherical lateral asymmetry.
Article
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Quick and accurate judgments of emotional expressivity and attractiveness facilitate social interactions. Eye tracking was used to examine left/right asymmetries across 2 studies. Fixations to each hemiface, and to the eyes and mouth, when judging attractiveness and emotional expressivity were examined. Overall, more fixations occurred on the left hemiface (from the viewer's point of view), even when mirror-reversed, supporting the suggestion that we intuitively know the left hemiface is more expressive. The right side of the mouth was fixated more when judging happiness, whereas the left eye was fixated more for sadness and the left mouth when rating emotional expressivity. The present findings support the notion that the right hemisphere and valence-specific hypotheses are not mutually exclusive. The right hemisphere hypothesis is supported when assessing global facial qualities (i.e., hemiface); however, hemispheric processing differences emerge when exploring the eyes and mouth. The current findings highlight the importance of not only considering how the face is examined more generally, but of also exploring smaller regions of interest to investigate lateral biases. Future research should therefore include analyses of fixations to the hemifaces, as well as to these smaller regions of interest. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Supplemental Results 1. Quantification of motor asymmetries (right-handers): statistical results Motor asymmetries were quantified by comparison of maximum joint-angle amplitudes and movement energies of corresponding joints on the two sides of the body. All significance levels p = 0.05 (uncorrected) in the following.
Article
People tend to exhibit a leftward bias in posing. Various studies suggest that posing to the left portrays a stronger emotion, whereas posing to the right portrays a more neutral emotion. Religions such as Christianity emphasize the role of strong emotions in religious experience, whereas religions such as Buddhism emphasize the calming of emotions as being important. In the present study, we investigated if the emphasis on emotionality of a religion influences the depiction of their religious figures. Specifically, we coded 484 paintings of Jesus and Buddha from online art databases for whether the deity exhibited a left bias, right bias, or central face presentation. The posing biases were analysed to discover whether paintings of Jesus would more frequently depict a leftward bias than paintings of Buddha. Jesus is more commonly depicted with a leftward bias than Buddha, and Buddha is more commonly depicted with a central face presentation than Jesus. These findings support the idea that the amount of emotionality that is to be conveyed in artwork influences the whether the subject is posed with a leftward bias.
Article
Studies have found a tendency for heads in portraits to be oriented so that more of the left side than the right side of the face is visible, though it is stronger in female than in male portraits. Two studies are reported that set head orientation in the context of body and gaze orientation, and additionally look at effects of artistic medium (paintings, photographs, and drawings) and changes in the tendency over time. There was a strong congruency between body, head, and gaze orientation. In particular, body and head had the same orientation in more than three-quarters of the portraits in both samples. Gender differences were found only for paintings and only in Study 1. There were several strong effects of artistic medium; for example, frontal orientation of gaze was much less common in drawings than in paintings and photographs. There were also several changes over time; for example, frontal orientation of body and head tended to increase going into the twentieth century. The results show that body, head, and gaze direction need to be considered together, and hypotheses concerned only with head orientation cannot provide a complete explanation for posing orientation. Four possible approaches to explanations are briefly discussed.
Article
Models advanced to explain hemispheric asymmetries in representation of emotions will be discussed following their historical progression. First, the clinical observations that have suggested a general dominance of the right hemisphere for all kinds of emotions will be reviewed. Then the experimental investigations that have led to proposal of a different hemispheric specialization for positive versus negative emotions (valence hypothesis) or, alternatively, for approach versus avoidance tendencies (motivational hypothesis) will be surveyed. The discussion of these general models will be followed by a review of recent studies which have documented laterality effects within specific brain structures, known to play a critical role in different components of emotions, namely the amygdata in the computation of emotionally laden stimuli, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in the integration between cognition and emotion and in the control of impulsive reactions and the anterior insula in the conscious experience of emotion. Results of these recent investigations support and provide an updated integrated version of early models assuming a general right hemisphere dominance for all kinds of emotions.
Article
As the right hemisphere is dominant for emotion processing, the left cheek expresses emotion more intensely than the right cheek. This prompts a leftward bias: people offer the left cheek to communicate emotion and viewers perceive left cheek poses as more emotive. Perceptions of trustworthiness are positively influenced by emotional expressivity, with smiling faces deemed more trustworthy than neutral faces. Thus as the left hemiface is more emotionally expressive than the right, the present study sought to determine whether people offer the left cheek to communicate trustworthiness, and the right to express untrustworthiness. One hundred and twenty-six participants (57 males, 69 females) completed a posing task asking them to read one of two scenarios (randomly assigned: trusted babysitter; untrustworthy car salesman), consider it for 30 seconds, and then pose for a photograph communicating their trustworthiness or untrustworthiness. Contrary to expectation, binary logistic regression results indicated no posing bias for communicating trustworthiness, however people were more likely to offer the left than right cheek when posing to communicate untrustworthiness. The novel finding of a left cheek bias for untrustworthiness is previously unreported, and highlights the need for future investigations of trustworthiness to examine both sides of the trustworthy coin.
Article
When posing for portraits people tend to offer their left cheek. This bias is also evident in selfies: informal photographic self-portraits taken with a smartphone. Mechanical biases have been argued to influence selfie posing orientation (predicting that using the left hand favours a stronger left cheek bias), however this hypothesis has not been directly tested. The present study was thus designed to determine whether motor biases influence selfie pose orientation. Three hundred and twenty participants (F = 159, M = 161) were asked to pose for a selfie "as you really are," and completed a handedness measure; hand used to take the selfie and selfie pose orientation were recorded. Ordinal logistic regression confirmed that neither participant handedness nor hand used to capture the selfie predicted selfie pose orientation. Regardless of sex, handedness, or hand used, participants were more likely to present a midline (49.75%) than a left (26.53%) or right (26.72%) cheek pose. Though handedness was a strong predictor of hand used to capture the selfie (left handers favour the left, and right handers the right, hand), it did not predict posing orientation. These results confirm that selfie cheek biases are not simply a residual effect of the mechanics of taking selfies.
Article
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Hemispheric asymmetries in happiness expression -which has an important role in interpersonal communication and its perception- have been studied using different techniques. However, it is not clear whether the source of the asymmetry is the poser or the observer. In Experiment I, we investigated on which hemiface (right/left) the expression of happiness was better identified. Subjects evaluated right-sided happy chimeric faces as more expressive. In Experiment II, we examined whether the source of the bias was the observer's hemispheric asymmetry or the poser's facial asymmetry. Stimuli were briefly presented unilaterally, either in the left visual field(LVF)/right hemisphere(RL) or in the right visual field(RVF)/left hemisphere(LH). Faces were recognized faster in LVF condition, but they were evaluated as more expressive in RVF condition. Right-sided happy faces were found to be more expressive in RVF condition. Results indicated LH superiority in the recognition of happy expression and a RH superiority in the duration of facial processing. Additionally findings pointed out a sex difference in subjects' evaluation time and evaluation scores. Men evaluated the stimuli faster in the RH condition than they did in the LH condition; while women evaluated the faces with higher scores in LH than they did in RH condition.
Article
Like language, emotion is a lateralized function. Because the right hemisphere typically dominates emotion processing, people express stronger emotion on the left side of their face. This prompts a left cheek bias: we offer the left cheek to express emotion and rate left cheek portraits more emotionally expressive than right cheek portraits. Though the majority of the population show this left cheek bias (60–70%), individual differences exist but remain largely unexplained. Given that people with higher self-rated emotional expressivity show a stronger left cheek bias, personality variables associated with increased emotional expressivity and emotional intelligence, such as extraversion and openness, may help account for individual differences. The present study thus examined whether the Big Five traits predict left cheek preferences. Participants (M = 58, F = 116) completed the NEO-Five Factor Personality Inventory (NEO-FFI) [Costa, P. T. J., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). NEO PI-R professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources] and viewed pairs of left and right cheek images (half mirror-reversed); participants made forced-choice decisions, indicating which image in each pair looked happier. Hierarchical regression indicated that neither trait extraversion nor openness predicted left cheek selections, with NEO-FFI personality subscales accounting for negligible variance in preferences. As the Big Five traits have been discounted, exploration of other potential contributors to individual differences in the left cheek bias is clearly needed.
Article
People perceive the left cheek as more emotionally expressive than the right. Both configural and featural information enable the evaluation of emotional expressions; whether they make equivalent contributions to the left cheek bias is undetermined. As scrambling faces disrupts configural processing whilst leaving featural information intact, we investigated whether configural information is necessary, or featural information is sufficient, to induce a left cheek bias for emotion perception. Eighty-one participants (65 F, 16 M) viewed two types of left and right cheek image pairs - normal, scrambled - and indicated which image appeared happier (half mirror-reversed to control for perceptual biases). Results indicated a left cheek bias for both normal and scrambled faces, irrespective of mirror reversal. As scrambling faces disrupts configural processing, the fact that the left cheek was perceived as more expressive even when scrambled confirms that differences between the cheeks' featural information are sufficient to induce the left cheek bias.
Article
In the history of portraiture, left cheek poses dominate. However, self-portraits favor the right cheek. Previous studies consistently report left biases for portraits of others and right biases for self-portraits; only one study has examined self-portrait pose orientation across a single artist’s corpus. The present study investigated posing biases of prolific self-portraitist Vincent van Gogh. Posing orientation in single-figure portrait (N = 174) and self-portrait (N = 37) paintings was coded. Unlike other artists, van Gogh was equally likely to paint himself in left and right cheek poses. Similarly, portraits of others showed no difference in left and right cheek frequencies but were distinguished by the inclusion of midline poses. These data highlight the importance of single artist cases studies when investigating portrait posing biases.
Article
Portrait pose orientations influence perception: the left cheek is more emotionally expressive; females' right cheeks appear more attractive. Posing biases are established in paintings, photographs, and advertisements, however, book covers have not previously been examined. This paper assesses cover image orientation in a book genre that frequently features a cover portrait: the celebrity cookbook. If marketers intuitively choose to enhance chefs' emotional expressivity, left cheek poses should predominate; if attractiveness is more important, right cheek poses will be more frequent for females, with a left or no cheek bias for males. Celebrity cookbook covers (N = 493) were sourced online; identity, portrait orientation, photo type, and sex were coded. For celebrity cookbooks, left cheek covers (39.6%) were more frequent than right cheek (31.6%) or midline covers (28.8%); sex did not predict pose orientation. An interaction between photo type and sex bordered on significance: photo type did not influence females' pose orientation; for males, the left cheek bias present for head and torso images was absent for full body and head only photos. Overall, the left cheek bias for celebrity cookbook covers implies that marketers intuitively select images that make the chefs appear happier and/or more emotionally expressive, enhancing engagement with the audience.
Article
In social media’s attention economy “likes” are currency; photos showing faces attract more “likes.” Previous research has established a left cheek bias in photos uploaded to social media, but whether left cheek poses induce more engagement than right cheek poses remains to be determined. The present study thus examined whether pose orientation influences the number of “likes” and comments garnered by photos uploaded to Instagram. The top 20 single-user Instagram accounts were identified, and the most recent 10 left and 10 right cheek images were selected, resulting in a total of 400 images. The number of “likes” and comments were tallied for each image, netting over 1 billion “likes” and 14 million comments for analysis. Results confirmed that pose orientation influences audience engagement: left cheek poses garner >10% more “likes” than right cheek poses. Gender did not influence “likes”. Comments were not affected by either pose orientation or gender, likely reflecting the different levels of effort and motivations involved in “liking” vs. commenting on an image. These data indicate that a seemingly inconsequential turn of the head profoundly impacts audience engagement: left cheek poses gained >330,000 more “likes”, offering clear implications for marketers and others in the social media economy.
Article
There is evidence for a tendency for European portrait paintings to have the head oriented so that the left side of the face is visible more than the right side. This is particularly the case for female sitters. There is evidence that the left side of the face shows emotion more than the right side does, so it has been proposed that there is a tendency for artists or sitters to want to show more of the emotionality of the sitter. It is shown here that the left-side tendency varies by date. In two studies, large samples were drawn from European gallery collections (study 1) and the National Portrait Gallery in London (study 2). The studies showed a strong left side tendency before 1600, absence of the tendency in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and some recurrence of it in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, modulated by changing gender differences. These findings show that cultural, historical, or art-historical factors are likely to be involved in determining tendencies in head orientation as well as psychological ones.
Article
When posing for portraits the position you adopt influences perceptions. As the left hemiface (controlled by the emotion-dominant right hemisphere) expresses emotion more intensely, left cheek portraits communicate stronger emotion than right cheek portraits. This phenomenon influences perceptions of both emotional expressivity and professional specialisation: while left cheek portraits emphasise emotion, right cheek portraits appear more scientific. When professionals upload photographs online to promote their services, the cheek shown consequently influences perceptions. Given the importance of empathy in establishing a therapeutic alliance, theoretically psychologists would benefit from choosing left cheek portraits to enhance their perceived emotionality. The present study thus examined psychologists' posing biases in photographs uploaded to online "Find a Psychologist" resources. Images (N = 1230) of psychologists were drawn from professional "Find a Psychologist" online databases, and coded for gender, portrait type and cheek shown. Results confirmed that psychologists show a left cheek bias, irrespective of gender and across portrait types (upper body, full body). This distinguishes psychologists from doctors and surgeons: past research reports no cheek bias in photos uploaded to "Find a Doctor" websites. The current findings suggest that psychologists may intuitively select left cheek images to enhance the communication of empathy to potential clients.
Article
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This article explores the fact that portrait painters have tended to paint the left cheek rather than the right one.
Article
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Describes the facial musculature and its lower motor neuron innervation. Upper motor neuron innervation from pyramidal and extrapyramidal circuits is explored, with special attention to the respective roles of these systems in voluntary vs emotional facial movements. Also discussed are the evolution of volitional and emotional motor systems, the behavioral and neurological differences between the upper and lower face, the mechanisms of proprioceptive feedback from the face, and asymmetry in facial expression. (117 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Although emotional expressivity figures prominently in several theories of psychological and physical functioning, limitations of currently available measurement techniques impede precise and economical testing of these theories. The 17-item Emotional Expressivity Scale (EES) was designed as a self-report measure of the extent to which people outwardly display their emotions. Reliability studies showed the EES to be an internally consistent and stable individual-difference measure. Validational studies established initial convergent and discriminant validities, a moderate relationship between self-rated and other-rated expression, and correspondence between self-report and laboratory-measured expressiveness using both college student and community populations. The potential for the EES to promote and integrate findings across diverse areas of research is discussed.
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Portraits, both photographic and painted, are often produced with more of one side of the face showing than the other. Typically, the left side of the face is overrepresented, with the head turned slightly to the sitter's right. This leftward bias is weaker for painted male portraits and non-existent for portraits of scientists from the Royal Society. What mechanism might account for this bias? Examination of portraits painted by left- and right-handers and of self-portraits suggests that the bias is not determined by a mechanical preference of the artist or by the viewer's aesthetics. The leftward bias seems to be determined by the sitters and their desire to display the left side of their face, which is controlled by the emotive, right cerebral hemisphere. When we asked people to portray as much emotion as possible when posing for a family portrait, they tended to present the left side of their face. When asked to pose as scientists and avoid portraying emotion, participants tended to present their right side. The motivation to portray emotion, or conceal it, might explain why portraits of males show a reduced leftward bias, and also why portraits of scientists from the Royal Society show no leftward bias.
Conference Paper
Nicholls et al. (1999, Proc. Royal Soc. B, 266, 1517-1522) demonstrated that models turn their left or right cheeks when expressing or concealing emotion. respectively. This study examined whether emotionally expressive individuals are more likely to turn their left cheek when posing for a photograph than less emotionally expressive individuals. One hundred twenty-four normal participants completed an Emotional Expressivity Scale (EES) and posed for a photograph. Females had a higher EES than males and there was a trend for left cheek posers to have a higher EES than right cheek posers. Females were more likely to turn their left cheek than were males. Results support our argument that emotionally expressive individuals turn their left cheek when posing. The higher incidence of leftward poses in females than males may reflect the higher EES for females. These results support the proposition that the leftward bias in painted portraits is related to a desire to capture the emotive qualities of the left side of the face. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
Article
Subjects rated the intensity of emotional expressiveness of left side, right side and original orientation composite human faces, expressing seven distinct emotions. Left side composites were judged to be more emotionally intense than right side composites. The finding points to hemispheric asymmetry in the control of emotional expression and has implications for the role of emotional expression in communication.
Article
In order to test the hypothesis of right hemisphere changes with age, this study examined lateralization for facial emotion in young, middle-aged, and older women (N = 90). For expression, subjects were photographed while posing positive and negative emotions. Composite photographs were created and rated for intensity. For perception, subjects were required to make intensity judgements about emotional chimeric faces. Overall, subjects demonstrated significant left-sided facial asymmetry for expression and significant left hemispace biases for perception. The findings for facial expression were not influenced by emotional valence or resting face asymmetries. There were no changes in lateralization as a function of age for either expression or perception. Taken together, these findings lend support to the notion that the right hemisphere mediates emotional processing across the adult life span.
Article
To investigate possible facial asymmetries during the production of posed and spontaneous smiles, the displacement of various reference points on the mouth were measured as subjects produced both kinds of smiles. Strobe cameras were used in combination with a computer-based analysis to record the smiles of left- and right-handed males and females. The analysis revealed that the left side of the mouth moved more than the right side during spontaneous but not posed smiles, supporting the notion that the right hemisphere may play a special role in emotional expression. This asymmetry was most apparent in left-handed females and right-handed males. These sex and handedness differences are discussed with reference to apparent inconsistencies in previous research on asymmetries in emotional expression.
Article
Developmental malformations associated with gross chromosomal deletions are well known in man. Those cases in which the extent of the deletion can be defined accurately by chromosome banding techniques should provide an opportunity for identifying some of the gene loci located within the deleted segment. But the positive assignment of a gene locus to a particular region in the human karyotype does not seem to have been achieved by this method. In this paper a patient is presented with a deletion of rather more than the distal two bands of the short arm of chromosome 2, and a duplication of the distal four bands of the long arm of chromosome 5. Normal karyotypes were found in the remaining five living maternal relatives. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of AcP in the family studied strongly suggests the absence of the P(a) allele in the patient with the unbalanced translocation. The enzyme assays further rule out the possibility that a silent allele has been transmitted to the patient. This leaves two alternative explanations of the findings. The explanation that a silent allele has arisen by new mutation in the patient can never be excluded, but the coincidence of such an event with an unbalanced translocation must be considered rare. The explanation which seems more likely is that the loss of the P(a) allele is a result of the chromosomal deletion, and this implies that the locus for AcP lies within the distal three bands of the short arm of chromosome 2 (2p23→2pter). The latter explanation is testable and evidence is already available from linkage studies which would support the assignment of the AcP locus to chromosome 2. This evidence comes mainly from one large family in which a pericentric inversion of chromosome 2 is segregating. The authors note that although linkage of the abnormal chromosome 2 was not demonstrated at the 5% level of confidence with any of eighteen gene loci tested, the probability for free recombination with the AcP locus was only 0.55 and there were no recombinants among four informative offspring. This family appears to be the first case in which the precision of Giemsa banding combined with genetic marker studies gives information on the location of a human gene within a particular region of a chromosome arm.
Article
The present study examined visuoperceptual bias in 12 right hemisphere damaged patients, eight of whom showed left unilateral neglect on standard clinical tests, and in 30 normal controls. In the chimeric faces task, subjects were required to judge which of a pair of faces appeared happier. Stimuli comprising each pair were mirror images, with the smiling half on the left of one face and on the right of the other. In the grey scales task, subjects were required to indicate which of two shaded rectangles appeared to be darker overall. Again, stimuli were mirror images, with the darker end appearing either on the left or on the right. Patients exhibited a significant rightward bias on both experimental tasks, in contrast to the significant leftward bias exhibited by controls. There was no significant correlation between patients' performances on standard clinical tests and the extent of bias on the two experimental tasks, suggesting that such patients exhibit distinct impairments of spatial cognition which are differentially indexed by the two types of task. Moreover, for both patients and controls, scores obtained on the two perceptual bias tasks were unrelated, suggesting that they may engage stimulus-specific processes which have different underlying patterns of asymmetrical processing. These data provide further support for models which propose that the heterogeneity of disorders of spatial cognition arise from disruption of distinct neural mechanisms.
Article
We recently reported finding asymmetry in the appearance of beauty on the face [Zaidel et al., Neuropsychologia, Vol. 33, pp. 649-655, 1995]. 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 vs 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 [Bennett et al., Neuropsychologia, Vol. 25, pp. 681-687, 1987; Gilbert and Bakan, Journal of Anatomy, Vol. 183, pp. 593-600, 1993]) 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.
Article
This review focuses on facial asymmetries during emotional expression. Facial asymmetry is defined as the expression intensity or muscular involvement on one side of the face ("hemiface") relative to the other side and has been used as a behavioral index of hemispheric specialization for facial emotional expression. This paper presents a history of the neuropsychological study of facial asymmetry, originating with Darwin. Both quantitative and qualitative aspects of asymmetry are addressed. Next, neuroanatomical bases for facial expression are elucidated, separately for posed/voluntary and spontaneous/involuntary elicitation conditions. This is followed by a comprehensive review of 49 experiments of facial asymmetry in the adult literature, oriented around emotional valence (pleasantness/unpleasantness), elicitation condition, facial part, social display rules, and demographic factors. Results of this review indicate that the left hemiface is more involved than the right hemiface in the expression of facial emotion. From a neuropsychological perspective, these findings implicate the right cerebral hemisphere as dominant for the facial expression of emotion. In spite of the compelling evidence for right-hemispheric specialization, some data point to the possibility of differential hemispheric involvement as a function of emotional valence.
Article
The purpose of the current study was to examine 49 extant experiments of facial asymmetry during emotional expression in normal adult males and females in regard to gender, valence, and measurement technique. When facial asymmetry was evaluated by trained judges or muscle quantification, facial expressions were left-sided, a finding implicating the right cerebral hemisphere in emotional expression. However, when self-report experiential methods were utilized, the valence hypothesis received some support. Although there was some indication in single-gender studies of greater facial lateralization for males than for females, studies involving both males and females yielded no systematic asymmetry patterns as a function of gender.
Article
For centuries painters have predominantly painted portraits with the model's left-cheek facing the viewer. This has been even more prevalent with females ( approximately 68%) than males ( approximately 56%). Numerous portraits painted by Rembrandt typify this unexplained phenomenon. In a preliminary experiment, subjects judged 24 emotional and social character traits in 20 portraits by Rembrandt. A factor analysis revealed that females with their left cheek exposed were judged to be much less socially appealing than less commonly painted right-cheeked females. Conversely, the more commonly painted right-cheeked males were judged to be more socially appealing than either left-cheeked males or females facing either direction. It is hypothesized that hemispheric asymmetries regulating emotional facial displays of approach and avoidance influenced the side of the face Rembrandt's models exposed due to prevailing social norms. A second experiment had different subjects judge a different collection of 20 portraits by Rembrandt and their mirror images. Mirror-reversed images produced the same pattern of results as their original orientation counterparts. Consequently, hemispheric asymmetries that specify the emotional expression on each side of the face are posited to account for the obtained results.
Article
Nicholls et al. (1999, Proc. Royal Soc. B, 266, 1517-1522) demonstrated that models turn their left or right cheeks when expressing or concealing emotion, respectively. This study examined whether emotionally expressive individuals are more likely to turn their left cheek when posing for a photograph than less emotionally expressive individuals. One hundred twenty-four normal participants completed an Emotional Expressivity Scale (EES) and posed for a photograph. Females had a higher EES than males and there was a trend for left cheek posers to have a higher EES than right cheek posers. Females were more likely to turn their left cheek than were males. Results support our argument that emotionally expressive individuals turn their left cheek when posing. The higher incidence of leftward poses in females than males may reflect the higher EES for females. These results support the proposition that the leftward bias in painted portraits is related to a desire to capture the emotive qualities of the left side of the face.
Psychology and the arts
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