Skin colour strongly affects our perception of health. The level of natural pigments such as oxyhaemoglobin, carotenoids and melanin in the skin all contribute to what makes a face look good. Using facial skin colour transforms, such as the above, we can investigate the relative contribution of each of these pigments to a face's health and attractiveness.
Facial adiposity, or "facial fat", is a salient facial cue that plays an important role in our perceptions of health and attractiveness. Using BMI transforms, we can investigate the relationship between facial adiposity and measures of real and perceived health, as well as the cross-cultural differences in these relationships.
Facial dimorphism (masculinity and femininity) has been shown to have great effects on perceptions of facial attractiveness and dominance. Women’s preferences for men’s facial masculinity are especially interesting, as there is great variation in preferences across individuals. These preferences have been demonstrated to vary with age, womens’ own self-rated attractiveness, and across different phases of their menstrual cycle. Using recently developed software, we are able to manipulate sexual dimorphism in both 2D and 3D faces.
The ability to accurately synthesise the effects of ageing on a face image has many useful applications, from locating missing persons to improving identification systems such that take ageing into account. It is also of interest to the cosmetics industry as well as the entertainments industry. In reverse, we can develop systems to estimate the apparent age of an individual and compare this to their chronological age to determine how 'well' they are ageing.
Subtle facial cues influence our perception of many different personality traits, such as trustworthiness and cooperativeness. Posture might enhance some of the relevant aspects for deciding whether to trust or cooperate with someone since it influences status and emotion perception. Gaze cues are very important as well. Gaze is a relevant factor when reading other peoples intentions. Our research focuses on the different extent that these two facial aspects might influence judgements of cooperativeness and trustworthiness.
What makes a face attractive? Our lab studies attractiveness in men and women across the lifespan. By averaging several "more attractive" and "less attractive" faces, we can create a transform to manipulate the attractiveness of any face. We use these faces to measure the relationship between attractiveness and symmetry, averageness vs disctinctiveness, and sexual dimorphism.