Eye of the beholder: symmetry perception in social judgments based on whole body displays
Rees Brown, J, van der Zwan, R & Brooks, A 2012, 'Eye of the beholder: symmetry perception in social judgments based on whole body displays', i-Perception, vol. 3, pp. 398-409.
Published version available from:
External bilateral symmetry is a biological marker of normal development and is considered a signal of health and attractiveness across species. Because most human interactions are dynamic, it was hypothesized that observers would be able to perceive spatiotemporal symmetry—symmetry in motion—in human point-light walkers. It was also hypothesized that observers would rate symmetrical walkers as healthy and attractive. Symmetrical and asymmetrical figures were presented to adult participants (n = 22) in motion and as static images with motion implied. Static symmetry was readily perceived, and symmetrical figures were judged significantly healthier and more attractive than asymmetrical figures. However, observers were unable to discriminate symmetry in dynamic presentations. These data provide preliminary evidence of a temporal summation window for a dynamic symmetry perception.