Sex differences in asymmetrically perceiving the intensity of facial expressions

William D. Scott Killgore, Steven W. Gangestad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems


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