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Who’s That Hottie? The Importance of Sexual Orientation in Facial Recognition

November 25th, 2013 6 comments

As I walk down Main Street in St. Paul, Minnesota, I see so many people who I assume I will never see again. As I turn the corner and enter a coffee shop, I recognize a person that I had passed by. I recognize the distinct facial features of this supposed stranger more than the hundreds of faces I have seen today. Facial recognition is critical to our lives as social human beings. In fact, we can recognize a face quickly due to our ability to process faces holistically. Holistic processing is when we process the entire face instead of looking at each separate facial feature. So was it that person’s attractive face that made me recognize them? People are attracted to all different types of people, so does attraction influence facial recognition? Perhaps sexual orientation plays a role in a person’s ability to recognize someone. One would think that heterosexual men and women would recognize the opposite sex better since they are attracted to them, but would that be the same for lesbians and gays? Read more…

Categories: Attention, Memory Tags: