- Drinking alcohol hurts our ability to detect asymmetrical faces.
- Symmetry is an important aspect of what makes a face attractive.
- Men appear to be less prone to losing this ability than women when drinking.
Everyone looks better after you've tipped back a pint or two, and now we may know why.
It turns out that alcohol dulls our ability to recognize cockeyed, asymmetrical faces, according to researchers who tested the idea on both sober and inebriated college students in England.
"We tend to prefer faces that are symmetrical," explained Lewis Halsey of Roehampton University in London. That's well established by previous research, he said.
To find out if alcohol interfered with the ability to distinguish faces where the left and right sides were uneven, he and his colleagues designed an experiment involving images of faces that were tinkered with to make them perfectly symmetrical or subtly asymmetrical. The results of the study were published by Halsey, Joerg Huber, Richard Bufton and A.C. Little in a recent issue of the journal Alcohol.