Special Issue "Symmetry and Attractiveness"

A special issue of Symmetry (ISSN 2073-8994). This special issue belongs to the section "Biology and Symmetry/Asymmetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2022).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Urszula Marcinkowska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland
Interests: human evolutionary biology; behavioural ecology; sexual preferences; reproduction
Dr. Dariusz Danel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Anthropology, Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Interests: disease and human behaviour; sexual selection; biological signalling and social perception; human behavioural ecology
Dr. Magdalena Klimek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Cracow, Poland
Interests: Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD); fetal programming; human evolutionary biology; reproductive ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Human facial and body symmetry has been a focus of research for several decades as a cue to developmental stability and genetic quality. The magnitude of fluctuating asymmetries has been suggested as an estimation of how efficient an organism is in developing bilaterally while facing environmental obstacles throughout ontogenetic development. Although multiple studies have found that symmetry is linked to both actual and perceived health or attractiveness, recent work using sizeable samples and new tools failed to replicate these results. Additionally, there is no clear evidence that symmetry translates into higher potential fertility and reproductive success. Similarly unexplored is the effect of inter-individual and between-population differences on perception of asymmetry as a cue to attractiveness. Additionally, a novel field of computational approaches assessing an individual’s health and biological qualities could provide further insights into signals possibly conveyed by human symmetry.

This issue gathers articles focusing on human symmetry in a quest for a congruent interpretation of this putative signal of biological condition.

text

Prof. Dr. Urszula Marcinkowska
Dr. Dariusz Danel
Dr. Magdalena Klimek
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Symmetry is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fluctuating asymmetry
  • good genes
  • attractiveness
  • health
  • reproduction
  • cognition
  • honest signals
  • ontogenetic development
  • inter-individual differences
  • computational algorithms

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Changes in Facial Shape throughout Pregnancy—A Computational Exploratory Approach
Symmetry 2021, 13(10), 1944; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13101944 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 213
Abstract
Facial cognition serves an important role in human daily interactions. It has been suggested that facial shape can serve as a signal for underlining biological condition, and that it is correlated with, among others, health, fertility, and attractiveness. In this study, 14 women [...] Read more.
Facial cognition serves an important role in human daily interactions. It has been suggested that facial shape can serve as a signal for underlining biological condition, and that it is correlated with, among others, health, fertility, and attractiveness. In this study, 14 women were photographed during three consecutive trimesters of pregnancy, and the levels of their facial sexual dimorphism, asymmetry, and averageness were computed. Facial sexual dimorphism in first trimester was higher than in the second trimester (F(2, 22) = 5.77; p = 0.01; ηp2 = 0.34, post-hoc Tukey HSD test p = 0.007). Similar pattern was visible for asymmetry (F(2, 22) = 3.67; p = 0.04; ηp2 = 0.25, post-hoc Tukey HSD test p = 0.05). No statistically significant changes in measurement of averageness were observed. Results from Bayesian complementary analyses confirmed the observed effects for sexual dimorphism. The evidence for trimester differences in asymmetry and averageness was inconsequential. Based on the preliminary results of this exploratory study, we suggest that previously found decrease in observed facial attractiveness during pregnancy can be related to the decrease in computed facial femininity (possibly mediated by the changes in facial adiposity). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Attractiveness)
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Article
Preference for Facial Symmetry Depends on Study Design
Symmetry 2021, 13(9), 1637; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym13091637 - 06 Sep 2021
Viewed by 536
Abstract
Facial symmetry is purportedly attractive, though methods for measuring preference for facial symmetry vary between studies. Some studies have used a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) task, while others have used a ratings task. How researchers manipulate facial symmetry also varies; some studies have [...] Read more.
Facial symmetry is purportedly attractive, though methods for measuring preference for facial symmetry vary between studies. Some studies have used a two-alternative forced choice (2AFC) task, while others have used a ratings task. How researchers manipulate facial symmetry also varies; some studies have used faces manipulated to be more (or perfectly) symmetrical, while others have used faces manipulated to be more asymmetrical. Here, across three studies, we evaluate and compare these different methods. In Studies 1 and 2 (N = 340 and 256, respectively), we compare facial symmetry preferences as measured by the 2AFC and ratings tasks. Across both studies, we consistently found a significant preference for facial symmetry when using the 2AFC task, but not with the ratings task. Additionally, correlations between facial symmetry preferences as measured by the two tasks were weak or showed no association. In Study 3, 159 participants rated the attractiveness of faces manipulated to be either symmetrical or more asymmetrical. The asymmetrical faces were rated as significantly less attractive compared to the original faces, while the difference in attractiveness ratings between the original and symmetrical versions was comparatively much smaller. These studies suggest that preference for facial symmetry depends greatly on the study design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry and Attractiveness)
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