Turning the other lobe: Directional biases in brain diagrams

Richard Wiseman, Adrian M. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Past research shows that in drawn or photographic portraits, people are significantly more likely to be posed facing to their right than their left. We examined whether the same type of bias exists among sagittal images of the human brain. An exhaustive search of Google images using the term 'brain sagittal view' yielded 425 images of a left or right facing brain. The direction of each image was coded and revealed that 80% of the brains were right-facing. This bias was present in images that did not contain any representation of a human head. It is argued that the effect might be aesthetic in nature, the result of the Western tradition of reading left to right or due to the facial factors that underlie the bias previously found in portraits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Early online date18 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Body perception
  • Cognition
  • Face perception
  • Perception


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