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Gender's effect on the hemispheric laterality of Rembrandt's portraits

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

In 64% of Rembrandt's female portraits the poser's left-cheek faces the viewer. However, this occurs in only 33% of his male portraits. This asymmetry is consistent with viewers rating Rembrandt's left-cheeked male portraits as likely to be avoided, which may reflect that aggressive displays of dominance are governed by the contralateral right-hemisphere, while rating left-cheeked female faces as likely to be approached may indicate sexual attractiveness.

Rembrandt's exposed-cheek gender difference paints both sexual selection and dominance as being governed by the right cerebral hemisphere.

Affiliations: 1: Psychology Department, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC 27109, USA


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