Main | Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NEW STUDY: Gay Men Remember Faces Better Than Straight Men Do

According to a study conducted by Toronto's York University, gay men are more adept at remembering faces than straight men. Because we use our brains like women do.
The study, published in the journal, Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, examined the influence of gender, sexual orientation and whether we’re right-or-left-handed on our ability to recognize faces. It found that when memorizing and discriminating between faces, homosexual men show patterns of bilaterality — the usage of both sides of the brain — similar to heterosexual women. Heterosexual men tend to favour the right hemisphere for such tasks. “Our results suggest that both gay men and heterosexual women code faces bilaterally. That allows for faster retrieval of stored information,” says study lead author Jennifer Steeves, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health. Study participants were asked to memorize photographs of ten faces, and differentiate them from 50 others, shown to them for only milliseconds each. The images were rendered in black and white and edited to remove ears, hair and blemishes, which can serve as obvious identifying cues. Participants then had to relay which faces were new, as quickly and accurately as possible.
Interestingly, left-handed gays did worse in the study than left-handed straights. And I'm sure there's a joke in here about trying to remember tricks.

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