Preferences for Symmetry in Conspecific Facial Shape Among Macaca mulatta
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- Waitt, C. & Little, A.C. Int J Primatol (2006) 27: 133. doi:10.1007/s10764-005-9015-y
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In human males and females, bilateral symmetry of facial shape influences assessments of attractiveness. It is possible, however, that other primate species also possess preferences for conspecific facial symmetry. To assess this experimentally, we presented 13 adult rhesus macaques (8 females, 5 males) with computer-manipulated images of symmetrical and asymmetrical versions of opposite-sexed conspecific faces. We utilized looking behavior to assess visual preferences for these factors. We found significant preferences for symmetry, raising the possibility that human preferences for facial symmetry are more deeply rooted in our evolutionary history than previously realized. Our results also have implications for the use of facial shape as a mechanism for attractiveness appraisals across the Primates.