Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Your left side is your best side: Our left cheek shows more emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing

Date:
April 20, 2012
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Your best side may be your left cheek, according to a new study. 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.

Your best side may be your left cheek. 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.
Credit: Gerry Pelser / Fotolia

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 specialized 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. Our findings provide support for a number of concepts -- the notions of lateralized 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 gray-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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kelsey Blackburn, James Schirillo. Emotive hemispheric differences measured in real-life portraits using pupil diameter and subjective aesthetic preferences. Experimental Brain Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s00221-012-3091-y

Cite This Page:

Springer. "Your left side is your best side: Our left cheek shows more emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120420123847.htm>.
Springer. (2012, April 20). Your left side is your best side: Our left cheek shows more emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120420123847.htm
Springer. "Your left side is your best side: Our left cheek shows more emotion, which observers find more aesthetically pleasing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120420123847.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins