Abstract Age is a primary social dimension. We behave differently toward people as a function of how old we perceive them to be. Age perception relies on cues that are correlated with age, such as wrinkles. Here we report that aspects of facial contrast–the contrast between facial features and the surrounding skin–decreased with age in a large sample of adult Caucasian females. These same aspects of facial contrast were also significantly correlated with the perceived age of the faces. Individual faces were perceived as younger when these aspects of facial contrast were artificially increased, but older when these aspects of facial contrast were artificially decreased. These findings show that facial contrast plays a role in age perception, and that faces with greater facial contrast look younger. Because facial contrast is increased by typical cosmetics use, we infer that cosmetics function in part by making the face appear younger.
年龄是一个主要的社会维度，我们根据我们察觉到的人的年龄在不同人面前有不同的表现。 年龄的察觉依据一些和年龄相关的线索， 比如皱纹。 这里我们报告了面部对比度－五官和周边皮肤的对比－在很大的成年白人女性样本中都表现出随着年龄下降。 这些面部对比度也同样显著地和通过面部感知到的年龄相关。当这些面部对比度被人为加大的时候人的脸被认为是更年轻的， 当这些面部对比度被人为降低的时候人的脸被认为是更老的。 这些发现说明面部对比度在年龄识别上有一定影响， 并且有较大面部对比度的脸看起来更年轻。 由于特定的化妆品的使用可以提高面部对比度， 我们推断化妆品对让脸部看上去更年轻起到一定作用。