Can you hear that face: How vocal sex cues influence perception of face sex (#822)
The ability to utilise informative signals of mate quality provides a reproductive advantage over conspecifics. The face and voice are two such signals of the genetic and behavioural quality of potential mates. The present study uses a visual search paradigm to explore the cross modal effects of voices on the attention and perception of faces. The target stimuli were mathematically average female and male faces amongst an array of androgynous distractor faces. The auditory cue was a prototypical male or female voice. The vocal cues provided no information about the location of the face. It was predicted that sex-congruent voice/face conditions would produce a facilitation effect, whilst sex-incongruent conditions would produce inhibition effects. To account for individual variation in perception of androgyny, each participant’s point of subjective equality (point at which they perceive faces as androgynous) was calculated using a psychophysics procedure. Visual search performance was evaluated and is discussed in terms of sex-specific sensitivities to signals of sexual dimorphism.