Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging

Lars Penke, Timothy C Bates, Alan J Gow, Alison Pattle, John M Starr, Benedict C Jones, David I Perrett, Ian J Deary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has been proposed that a common cause underlies individual differences in bodily and cognitive decline in old-age. No good marker for this common cause has been identified to date. Here, fluctuating asymmetry (FA), an indicator of developmental stability that relates to intelligence differences in young adults, was measured from facial photographs of 216 surviving members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921 at age 83 and related to their intelligence at ages 11, 79, and 83 years. FA at age 83 was unrelated to intelligence at ages 11 and 79, and to cognitive change between 11 and 79. It was, however associated with intelligence and information processing efficiency at age 83 and with cognitive change between 79 and 83. Significant results were limited to men, a result predicted by sex differences in life-history trade-offs and life expectancy. Results were stronger when directional asymmetries were corrected in facial FA measures. Thus, FA is a candidate marker for the common cause of differential senescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
Volume30
Issue number6
Early online date5 Aug 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Fingerprint

Intelligence
fluctuating asymmetry
Facial Asymmetry
Social Justice
Life Expectancy
Automatic Data Processing
Individuality
Sex Characteristics
developmental stability
Young Adult
information processing
life expectancy
Parturition
senescence
young adults
gender differences
photographs
photograph
Cognitive Aging
Asymmetry

Keywords

  • cognitive aging
  • facial fluctuating asymmetry
  • senescence
  • common cause hypothesis
  • general intelligence
  • information processing speed

Cite this

Penke, L., Bates, T. C., Gow, A. J., Pattle, A., Starr, J. M., Jones, B. C., ... Deary, I. J. (2009). Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging. Evolution and Human Behavior, 30(6), 429-437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.06.001

Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging. / Penke, Lars; Bates, Timothy C; Gow, Alan J; Pattle, Alison; Starr, John M; Jones, Benedict C; Perrett, David I; Deary, Ian J.

In: Evolution and Human Behavior, Vol. 30, No. 6, 11.2009, p. 429-437.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Penke, L, Bates, TC, Gow, AJ, Pattle, A, Starr, JM, Jones, BC, Perrett, DI & Deary, IJ 2009, 'Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging', Evolution and Human Behavior, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 429-437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.06.001
Penke L, Bates TC, Gow AJ, Pattle A, Starr JM, Jones BC et al. Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging. Evolution and Human Behavior. 2009 Nov;30(6):429-437. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.06.001
Penke, Lars ; Bates, Timothy C ; Gow, Alan J ; Pattle, Alison ; Starr, John M ; Jones, Benedict C ; Perrett, David I ; Deary, Ian J. / Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging. In: Evolution and Human Behavior. 2009 ; Vol. 30, No. 6. pp. 429-437.
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