Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 117–124

Wrinkling and head shape as coordinated sources of age-level information


  • Leonard S. Mark
    • Psychology Department, U-20University of Connecticut
  • John B. Pittenger
    • University of Arkansas
  • Helen Hines
    • University of Arkansas
  • Claudia Carello
    • Psychology Department, U-20University of Connecticut
  • Robert E. Shaw
    • Psychology Department, U-20University of Connecticut
  • James T. Todd
    • Psychology Department, U-20University of Connecticut

DOI: 10.3758/BF03204298

Cite this article as:
Mark, L.S., Pittenger, J.B., Hines, H. et al. Perception & Psychophysics (1980) 27: 117. doi:10.3758/BF03204298


Changes in the shape of a human head and the development of facial wrinkles were examined as potential sources of information about age level. In Experiment 1, subjects estimated the ages of faces that had been produced by systematically manipulating characteristic head shapes and levels of wrinkles associated with ages 15, 30, 50, and 70 years. The results indicated that observers used both sources of craniofacial change in making age estimates; but the effect of either source of change on perceived age depended upon the level of the other source of change. In Experiment 2, subjects’ ratings of the apparent conflict between levels of head shape and wrinkles further substantiated the conclusion that observers are sensitive to the coordination of products of the two sources of change. These findings suggest that the information specifying perceived age level is a complexrelationship among different types of craniofacial change.

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© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1980