Illusions: What’s in a Face?

Subtle differences can make a face seem masculine or feminine, as one study shows.

The images above are from an article in Scientific American on the neuroscience of visual illusions. They are the same person.

The left seems more feminine, the right more masculine. The only difference is the degree of contrast between the eyes/lips and the skin.

No wonder ladies use face powder, eye shadow, mascara and lipstick.

But this raises the question: do we perceive the higher contrast face as more feminine because we’ve been exposed to women wearing makeup or is the tendency innate?

Check out all ten examples in the article.