The role of pigmentation in face perception
Author(s)Russell, Richard (Richard P.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
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Faces each have distinct pigmentation as well as shape, which suggests that both cues may play a role in the perception of faces. However, there is a common implicit assumption that pigmentation cues are relatively unimportant, and so the role pigmentation plays in face perception has gone largely unexplored. This thesis is a systematic investigation of the role of pigmentation in face recognition, facial sex classification, and facial attractiveness. The present studies present evidence that pigmentation cues are in fact quite important for face perception. For face recognition, pigmentation cues are about as important as shape cues. Male and female faces differ consistently in their pigmentation, with female faces having more luminance contrast between the eyes and lips and the rest of the face than do male faces. This sex difference in pigmentation is used as a cue for judgments of facial sex classification and facial attractiveness. Together, these results implicate an important role for pigmentation, and open new avenues of research in the perception of faces.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, 2005.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brain and Cognitive Sciences.