While some studies have suggested that symmetrical faces are perceived as more attractive than others, the way we process facial features suggests that it is actually asymmetry that makes our mugs interesting, appealing and memorable.
In a visually tantalizing piece for the latest issue of science magazine Nautilus, Simone M. Scully spoke with neurobiologists, psychologists and evolutionary biologists in search of expert perspectives on the way we process, appreciate and recognize faces. She then applied the feedback of one scientist in particular – Claus-Christian Carbon, professor of psychology at the University of Bamberg – to the analysis of six celebrity faces. Here's the evaluation of Radiohead's Thom Yorke's famously crooked features:
The most noticeable features of English singer-songwriter Thom Yorke's face are his eyes: One is clearly different from the other. This is especially obvious to us, Carbon says, because we are more likely to notice differences close to the Y-axis, or the vertical line that divides the face in half. In other words, we notice asymmetrical noses and eyes far more easily than different-sized ears.