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Face shape clue to mental decline

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:54 AM

Men with symmetrical faces are less likely to lose their memory and intelligence in later life, according to researchers.Psychologists at the University of Edinburgh found a link between facial symmetry and mental performance between the ages of 79 and 83.

The researchers analysed results of the 1932 Scottish Mental Survey and mapped the faces of subjects from photographs.

Facial symmetry, the researchers argued, may indicate a man has experienced fewer genetic and environmental disturbances such as diseases, toxins, malnutrition or genetic mutations during his development.

Dr Lars Penke, who led the study, said: "Previous research has suggested that cognitive decline is an aspect of body-wide ageing. This link could show that facial symmetry can be used as a marker which could predict this decline."

The team was unable to find comparable results in women.

One explanation suggested by the researchers was that DNA has a different affect on ageing among women. Another theory was that mental decline is delayed in women because, on average, they live longer.

The results of the study have been published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.

Source BBC

[edit on 10-8-2009 by VitalOverdose]

posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:03 AM
Will make a point of reading the article you mention, thanks

Years ago, older people claimed that a very reliable indicator of mental decline was the mouth area, whether male or female, regardless of age.

Years later, I happened upon an article which confirmed this. The article reported that researchers had observed that rather than the much-touted eyes being the 'tell all' facial feature, it was actually the mouth which was most indicative of a person's mental-health .. or lack of.

According to the article, a connection between the brain and muscles around the mouth exists. As the brain declines, so does control of those muscles.

None of this would be any news to the average person or medics and nurses, I suppose. The average person observes (often unawares) the slack mouthed/jawed visage of the person who's abused drugs or alcohol and a visit to any age-care facility acquaints the observer with the loose-lips, open mouths and drooling common to those suffering senile decay.

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