Volume 5, Issue 1, February 2020, Page: 1-4
Facial Width-to-Height Ratio as a Cue of Threat: An Initial Event-Related Potential Study
Petri Kajonius, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Skovde, Skovde, Sweden; Department of Behavioural Science, University West, Trollhattan, Sweden
Hans Eldblom, Department of Behavioural Science, University West, Trollhattan, Sweden
Received: Jan. 2, 2019;       Accepted: Dec. 23, 2019;       Published: Jan. 4, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijpbs.20200501.11      View  76      Downloads  103
Abstract
The background for the present study is that facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) is suggested to function as an evolutionary cue for threatening behavior such as perceived aggression. With a novel approach, in this pilot study, we explored whether fWHR can be detected in observers’ brain responses measured by event-related potentials (ERP), specifically, the Late Positive Potential (LPP) component (400-3000ms after stimuli onset). The hypothesis was that faces with a high fWHR would elicit a larger LPP amplitude than faces with a low fWHR. The results showed that faces with high fWHRs were indeed perceived as more aggressive and elicited significantly greater LPP amplitudes. The conclusion lends initial support to fWHR serving as a facial cue with evolutionary relevance. We caution that future full-length studies need to take the current small-scale study’s limitations into consideration.
Keywords
Facial Width-to-Height Ratio, Aggression, ERP, LPP, fWHR
To cite this article
Petri Kajonius, Hans Eldblom, Facial Width-to-Height Ratio as a Cue of Threat: An Initial Event-Related Potential Study, International Journal of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Vol. 5, No. 1, 2020, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.11648/j.ijpbs.20200501.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Reference
[1]
McGugin, R., & Gauthier, I. (2013). Face Recognition. In: K. Ochsner, Kosslyn, S. M (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Neuroscience, Volume 2: The Cutting Edges (p. 165). Oxford University Press.
[2]
Rhodes, G. (2006). The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 57, 199-226.
[3]
Geniole, S. N., Keyes, A. E., Carré, J. M., & McCormick, C. M. (2014). Fearless dominance mediates the relationship between the facial width-to-height ratio and willingness to cheat. Personality and Individual Differences, 57, 59-64.
[4]
Borgi, M., & Majolo, B. (2016). Facial width-to-height ratio relates to dominance style in the genus Macaca. PeerJ, 4, e1775.
[5]
Deska, J. C., Lloyd, E. P., & Hugenberg, K. (2018). The face of fear and anger: Facial width-to-height ratio biases recognition of angry and fearful expressions. Emotion, 18 (3), 453-464.
[6]
Geniole, S. N., Denson, T. F., Dixson, B. J., Carré, J. M., & McCormick, C. M. (2015). Evidence from meta-analyses of the facial width-to-height ratio as an evolved cue of threat. PloS one, 10 (7), e0132726.
[7]
Lieberz, K. A., Windmann, S., Geniole, S. N., McCormick, C. M., Mueller-Engelmann, M., Gruener, F.,... & Steil, R. (2017). The facial width-to-height ratio determines interpersonal distance preferences in the observer. Aggressive behavior, 43 (5), 460-470.
[8]
Luck, S. (2014). An introduction to the Event­related Potential Technique. New York, NY: MIT press.
[9]
Cuthbert, B. N., Schupp, H. T., Bradley, M. M., Birbaumer, N., & Lang, P. J. (2000). Brain potentials in affective picture processing: Covariation with autonomic arousal and affective report. Biological Psychology, 52 (2), 95–111.
[10]
Schupp, H. T., Öhman, A., Junghöfer, M., Weike, A. I., Stockburger, J., & Hamm, A. O. (2004). The facilitated processing of threatening faces: an ERP analysis. Emotion, 4 (2), 189-200.
[11]
Carré, J. M., & McCormick, C. M. (2008). In your face: facial metrics predict aggressive behaviour in the laboratory and in varsity and professional hockey players. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 275 (1651), 2651-2656.
[12]
Puts, D. A. (2010). Beauty and the beast: Mechanisms of sexual selection in humans. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31 (3), 157-175.
[13]
Puts, D. A., Jones, B. C., & DeBruine, L. M. (2012). Sexual selection on human faces and voices. Journal of sex research, 49 (2-3), 227-243.
[14]
Stirrat, M., Stulp, G., & Pollet, T. V. (2012). Male facial width is associated with death by contact violence: narrow-faced males are more likely to die from contact violence. Evolution and Human Behavior, 33 (5), 551-556.
[15]
Blanchard, D. C., Griebel, G., Pobbe, R., & Blanchard, R. J. (2011). Risk assessment as an evolved threat detection and analysis process. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 35 (4), 991-998.279.
[16]
Sell, A., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J., Sznycer, D., Von Rueden, C., & Gurven, M. (2009). Human adaptations for the visual assessment of strength and fighting ability from the body and face. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 276 (1656), 575-584.
[17]
Eisenbruch, A. B., Lukaszewski, A. W., Simmons, Z. L., Arai, S., & Roney, J. R. (2017). Why the Wide Face? Androgen Receptor Gene Polymorphism does not Predict Men’s Facial Width-to-Height Ratio. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 4 (2), 1-14.
[18]
Carré, J. M., McCormick, C. M., & Mondloch, C. J. (2009). Facial structure is a reliable cue of aggressive behavior. Psychological Science, 20 (10), 1194-1198.
[19]
Hajcak, G., MacNamara, A., & Olvet, D. M. (2010). Event-related potentials, emotion, and emotion regulation: An integrative review. Developmental Neuropsychology, 35 (2), 129–155.
[20]
Schönbrodt, F. D., & Perugini, M. (2013). At what sample size do correlations stabilize? Journal of Research in Personality, 47 (5), 609-612.
Browse journals by subject