September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Facial contrast is a universal cue for perceiving age.
Author Affiliations
  • Aurélie Porcheron
    Chanel Research & Technology, France LPNC, Université Pierre Mendès-France, Grenoble, france
  • Emmanuelle Mauger
    Chanel Research & Technology, France
  • Frédérique Soppelsa
    Lincoln, France
  • Richard Russell
    Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, USA
  • Frédérique Morizot
    Chanel Research & Technology, France
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1222. doi:
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      Aurélie Porcheron, Emmanuelle Mauger, Frédérique Soppelsa, Richard Russell, Frédérique Morizot; Facial contrast is a universal cue for perceiving age.. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1222.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Aspects of facial contrast decrease with age in Caucasian women, and Caucasian female faces with higher contrast look younger (Porcheron et al, 2013). Here we investigated faces and raters of other racial groups to see whether the link between facial contrast and age is universal. Using sets of carefully controlled full face color photographs of 182 Latina women from the US, 155 black South African women, and 139 Chinese women aged from 20 to 80, we measured the contrast between the internal features (the eyes, the lips and the brows) and the surrounding skin, in the CIELab L*, a*, and b* axes. The luminance contrast around the eyebrows and the eyes, the a* contrast around the mouth and the eyes and the b* contrast around the eyes significantly decreased with age in all racial groups. Though the overall pattern of changes with age was common to all racial groups, there were also some minor differences between the groups. In a separate study, faces of the four races were manipulated to increase or decrease the aspects of facial contrast that were observed to vary with age universally. Caucasian and Chinese participants were asked to select which face between the low contrast and the high contrast faces looked younger. Globally, in more than 75% of the trials subjects judged the high contrast face younger. Interestingly, the effect of the manipulation was found to differ significantly according to origin, gender and age of participant, as well as age of the faces. Together these findings indicate that older faces have less facial contrast than younger faces, regardless of the race of face and that facial contrast is a universal cue to age perception.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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