Sex differences in asymmetrically perceiving the intensity of facial expressions

William D. Scott Killgore, Steven W. Gangestad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Emotional facial expressions are often asymmetrical, with the left half of the face typically displaying the stronger affective intensity cues. During facial perception, however, most right-handed individuals are biased toward facial affect cues projecting to their own left visual hemifield. Consequently, mirror-reversed faces are typically rated as more emotionally intense than when presented normally. Mirror-reversal permits the most intense side of the expresser's face to project to the visual hemifield biased for processing facial affect cues. This study replicated the mirror-reversal effect in 21 men and 49 women (aged 18-52 yr.) using a videotaped free viewing presentation but also showed the effect of facial orientation is moderated by the sex of the perceiver. The mirror-reversal effect was significant only for men but not for women, suggesting possible sex differences in cerebral organization of systems for facial perception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-314
Number of pages4
JournalPerceptual and motor skills
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems

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