Fasolt V, Holzleitner IJ, Lee A, O'Shea KJ & DeBruine LM (2019). Contribution of shape and colour cues to kinship detection in 3D face images. Human Behaviour and Evolution Society in Boston, USA. May 2019.

Previous research has established that humans are able to detect kinship among strangers from facial images alone. The current study investigated what facial information is used for making those kinship judgements, specifically the contribution of face shape and colour. Using 3D facial images, 195 participants were asked to judge the relatedness of one hundred child pairs, half of which were related and half of which were unrelated. Participants were randomly assigned to judge one of three stimulus versions: face images with both colour and shape information present (colour and shape version), face images with shape information removed but colour present (colour version) or face images with colour information removed but shape present (shape version). Using binomial logistic mixed models, we found that participants were able to detect relatedness at levels above chance for all three stimulus versions. Overall, both individual colour and shape information contribute to kinship detection, and both cues are optimally combined in the colour and shape version. Preprint, pre-registration, code and data are available on the Open Science Framework (osf.io/7ftxd).

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