I've always struggled with bilateral symmetry in face drawing, particularly when I draw from my imagination. I've become aware of this problem, so I'm able to correct myself (usually ... and it turns out that often people aren't actually all that symmetrical, which complicates things), but I've always been curious why this occurs, and especially: Why don't I notice it right away?
The example above, with the original sketch (top), and (below) the right half and left half with perfect bilateral symmetry, shows how much disparity there seems to be between the right and left hemispheres of my brain. The two halves are either not good at communicating, or (more likely) they argue and refuse to cooperate. Also, for whatever reason the left side likes to squish things.
This wasn't the first time I'd experimented with bilateral symmetry. I decided to look up an earlier experiment and see if I could find any clues -- Is it really about the two hemispheres of my brain? ...
When I was (much) younger, and I'd first read about bilateral symmetry in biology (and its influence in sexual selection), I decided to experiment. I took a photo of myself and divided up the halves. I was surprised at the disparity. How different a life might B have compared to C? And either compared to A?
I realized that if I flipped the self-portraits horizontally so as to correspond with looking out of my eyes, the photos above have qualities surprisingly similar to the faces that I sketch (the nose, mouth, the squished right half, and so forth). Hmm ... Is there a correlation? Just how deeply does this affect how I perceive the world?
Note: Not many people are perfectly bilaterally symmetrical, and at least we only have to feel insecure about bilateral imperfections instead of radial (hexameric in anemones). Sponges don't care, having the rare asymmetrical body plan. Bilateral symmetry is really still quite the look in the animal kingdom, apparently (Wikipedia).
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