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Special Issue "Symmetry and Beauty"

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A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Yuka Sasaki

Brown University, Department of Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences, Box 1821, 190 Thayer Street Providence, RI 02912, USA
Interests: unconscious brain activity; visual/motor skill learning during wakefulness and sleep; non-invasive neuroimaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG)

Keywords

  • visual perception
  • aesthetics
  • beauty
  • attractiveness
  • averageness
  • facial symmetry
  • experimental psychology
  • morphology
  • shape
  • pattern recognition

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Three-Dimensional Facial Asymmetry in Attractive and Normal People from Childhood to Young Adulthood
Symmetry 2010, 2(4), 1925-1944; doi:10.3390/sym2041925
Received: 1 October 2010 / Accepted: 19 October 2010 / Published: 9 November 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (161 KB)
Abstract
We are currently investigating measurable esthetic characteristics in persons considered “attractive” by the media. Three-dimensional soft-tissue facial asymmetry was quantified in 380 attractive (148 males, 232 females) and 669 control (397 males, 272 females) healthy persons aged 4–30 years. The coordinates of [...] Read more.
We are currently investigating measurable esthetic characteristics in persons considered “attractive” by the media. Three-dimensional soft-tissue facial asymmetry was quantified in 380 attractive (148 males, 232 females) and 669 control (397 males, 272 females) healthy persons aged 4–30 years. The coordinates of 50 facial landmarks were collected by a computerized digitizer, and asymmetry computed. Soft-tissue facial asymmetries reduced as a function of age in all cases. Attractive children were more symmetric than control children, but the reverse was true for young adults. The effect of symmetry on attractiveness seems to change as a function of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Beauty)
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Open AccessArticle Asymmetry, Symmetry and Beauty
Symmetry 2010, 2(3), 1591-1624; doi:10.3390/sym2031591
Received: 2 June 2010 / Revised: 10 July 2010 / Accepted: 16 July 2010 / Published: 30 July 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2105 KB)
Abstract
Asymmetry and symmetry coexist in natural and human processes.  The vital role of symmetry in art has been well demonstrated. This article highlights the complementary role of asymmetry. Further we show that the interaction of asymmetric action (recursion) and symmetric opposition (sinusoidal [...] Read more.
Asymmetry and symmetry coexist in natural and human processes.  The vital role of symmetry in art has been well demonstrated. This article highlights the complementary role of asymmetry. Further we show that the interaction of asymmetric action (recursion) and symmetric opposition (sinusoidal waves) are instrumental in generating creative features (relatively low entropy, temporal complexity, novelty (less recurrence in the data than in randomized copies and complex frequency composition). These features define Bios, a pattern found in musical compositions and in poetry, except for recurrence instead of novelty. Bios is a common pattern in many natural and human processes (quantum processes, the expansion of the universe, gravitational waves, cosmic microwave background radiation, DNA, physiological processes, animal and human populations, and economic time series). The reduction in entropy is significant, as it reveals creativity and contradicts the standard claim of unavoidable decay towards disorder. Artistic creations capture fundamental features of the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Beauty)
Open AccessArticle Symmetry and Beauty in Plato
Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 455-465; doi:10.3390/sym2020455
Received: 22 February 2010 / Revised: 16 March 2010 / Accepted: 20 March 2010 / Published: 25 March 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (168 KB)
Abstract
Plato writes about Beauty in many of his dialogues, particularly in the Symposium, but he has no word equivalent to our "Symmetry", and this concept was not then formalised. Nevertheless, there are indications that some aspects of the concept were understood, [...] Read more.
Plato writes about Beauty in many of his dialogues, particularly in the Symposium, but he has no word equivalent to our "Symmetry", and this concept was not then formalised. Nevertheless, there are indications that some aspects of the concept were understood, if only intuitively. Plato has a very abstract concept of beauty, and when he uses "beauty" to characterise the so-called "Platonic Solids" in the Timaeus, he seems to be emphasising at least their regularity. It can be argued that the way in which he specifies the detailed construction of the solids is remarkably close to a modern description in terms of (point) symmetry. For Plato, something of our symmetry is included in what he means by beauty, and the long mathematical approach to symmetry starts with the Timaeus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Beauty)
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Open AccessArticle Asymmetry and Symmetry in the Beauty of Human Faces
Symmetry 2010, 2(1), 136-149; doi:10.3390/sym2010136
Received: 22 January 2010 / Revised: 16 February 2010 / Accepted: 16 February 2010 / Published: 23 February 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (296 KB)
Abstract
The emphasis in the published literature has mostly been on symmetry as the critical source for beauty judgment. In fact, both symmetry and asymmetry serve as highly aesthetic sources of beauty, whether the context is perceptual or conceptual. The human brain is [...] Read more.
The emphasis in the published literature has mostly been on symmetry as the critical source for beauty judgment. In fact, both symmetry and asymmetry serve as highly aesthetic sources of beauty, whether the context is perceptual or conceptual. The human brain is characterized by symbolic cognition and this type of cognition facilitates a range of aesthetic reactions. For example, both art and natural scenery contain asymmetrical elements, which nevertheless render the whole effect beautiful. A further good case in point is, in fact, human faces. Normally, faces are structurally left-right symmetrical content-wise but not size-wise or function-wise. Attractiveness has often been discussed in terms of content-wise full-face symmetry. To test whether or not attractiveness can be gleaned only from the presence of left-right full-faces we tested half faces. Three separate groups of participants viewed and rated the attractiveness of 56 full-faces (women’s and men’s), their 56 vertical left hemi-faces and 56 vertical right hemi-faces. We found no statistically significant differences in the attractiveness ratings of full- and hemi-faces (whether left or right). Instead, we found a strong and significant positive correlation between the ratings of the hemi- and full-faces. These results are consistent with the view that the underpinning of human facial beauty is complex and that bilateral symmetry does not constitute a principle factor in beauty assessment. We discuss that the highly evolved human brain, compared to other animals, as well as symbolic and abstract cognition in humans enable a wide variety of aesthetic reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Beauty)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview The Relationships between Symmetry and Attractiveness and Mating Relevant Decisions and Behavior: A Review
Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 1081-1098; doi:10.3390/sym2021081
Received: 30 April 2010 / Revised: 8 May 2010 / Accepted: 24 May 2010 / Published: 26 May 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (199 KB)
Abstract
Evolutionary theory based research shows that attractiveness is based on biological correlates that index appropriate estrogen and testosterone levels. Symmetry affects or plays a role in the perception of many of these correlates of attractiveness. Additionally, since attractiveness affects infidelity perception and [...] Read more.
Evolutionary theory based research shows that attractiveness is based on biological correlates that index appropriate estrogen and testosterone levels. Symmetry affects or plays a role in the perception of many of these correlates of attractiveness. Additionally, since attractiveness affects infidelity perception and reactions, sexual satisfaction, and personality perception, symmetry also affects these areas. This paper reviews the literature on symmetry showing how symmetry affects: the correlates of attractiveness, sexual satisfaction, personality, and infidelity perceptions and reactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Beauty)

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