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Selfies are an implicit element of social networks. A phenomenon that has become an art, a perfect photo hunt consisting of combining the right light, angle and distance - without taking into account all the postproduction that comes next. But a recent study proposes a new approach in regards to this practice: the framing of selfies, far from being an obsession in search of likes, could be a habit rooted in our DNA .
This is a study conducted by four researchers from different universities called The positioning of the eyes in selfies published on Instagram . The authors of this research focused on the look and how the left eye is usually placed in the center of the image. An aesthetic composition that, according to a previous study by Christopher Tyler , one of the researchers, has been seen in self-portraits dating back more than 2,000 years.
In a conversation with EL MUNDO Nicola Bruno , a researcher at the University of Parma, Italy, reports that selfies and art can share a biological origin: "An interesting feature of selfies is that they represent pseudo-artistic productions of people who do not necessarily have academic artistic training. For this reason it is curious to compare them with self-portraits of real artists. If we see the same trend between them, they are likely to be rooted in our biology rather than education or cultural conventions . "
Precisely, the idea of doing the research was born from the study conducted by Tyler in early 2019, in which he found that the portraits and self-portraits of famous painters - such as Leonardo DaVinci - used to put the left eye in the center of the image . From this conclusion they derived the theory that this composition could also be used in selfies.
To do so, the researchers used 3,556 selfies , taken from an Instagram database, of people who were in six cities: Bangkok, Berlin, London, Moscow, New York and Sao Paulo. The study shows that 54% of the analyzed images placed the person's left eye in the center of the image, while 46% put it in the right eye. The study analyzed both selfies that were taken through a mirror and those made directly by looking at the camera and the results were the same for women and men.
In this sense, the researchers conclude that this phenomenon is a natural tendency, since the human being usually shifts the spatial attention to the left . "It depends on perceptual factors, such as balance, rather than the socioculturally learned rules," summarizes the study. It also suggests that by aligning the eye to the left, mood is better transmitted. Although, according to Bruno, its aesthetic value cannot be ruled out: "This slightly asymmetrical composition tends to seem more dynamic and interesting."
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