advertisement
23 April 2012

Your left side is your best side

Your best side may be your left cheek according to a new study showing that images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right.

0

Your best side may be your left cheek, according to a new study by Kelsey Blackburn and James Schirillo from Wake Forest University in the US.

Their work shows that images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side of the face, possibly due to the fact that we present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of our face. Their work is published online in Springer's journal Experimental Brain Research.

Others can judge human emotions in large part from facial expressions. Our highly specialised facial muscles are capable of expressing many unique emotions. Research suggests that the left side of the face is more intense and active during emotional expression. It is also noteworthy that Western artists' portraits predominantly present subjects' left profile.

Blackburn and Schirillo investigated whether there are differences in the perception of the left and right sides of the face in real-life photographs of individuals.

The authors explain: "Our results suggest that posers' left cheeks tend to exhibit a greater intensity of emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing.

Left side of the brain in control

Our findings provide support for a number of concepts – the notions of lateralised emotion and right hemispheric dominance with the right side of the brain controlling the left side of the face during emotional expression."

Participants were asked to rate the pleasantness of both sides of male and female faces on grey-scale photographs. The researchers presented both original photographs and mirror-reversed images, so that an original right-cheek image appeared to be a left-cheek image and vice versa.

They found a strong preference for left-sided portraits, regardless of whether the pictures were originally taken of the left side, or mirror-reversed. The left side of the face was rated as more aesthetically pleasing for both male and female posers.

These aesthetic preferences were also confirmed by measurements of pupil size, a reliable unconscious measurement of interest. Indeed, pupils dilate in response to more interesting stimuli – here more pleasant-looking faces, and constrict when looking at unpleasant images. In the experiment, pupil size increased with pleasantness ratings.

(EurekAlert, April 2012) 

Read more:

The amazing brain

Fascinating  brain facts

 

 

More:

WomanNews
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Get rid of lice! »

Toddler dies after DIY lice treatment Back-to-school head lice Comb out head lice

20 head lice myths debunked

Head lice are tiny, wingless insects that live in human hair. They cannot fly, jump or swim and are spread by head-to-head contact. Check out this infographic to learn more.

About gout »

Treatment of Gout Signs and symptoms of gout What is Gout?

Is your diet causing gout?

Suffering from gout? There's a lot you can do to prevent this horribly painful condition. Start by cutting out these 14 foods.