[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 47
Citations 0
Comment & Response
Sept/Oct 2018

Perceived Facial Distortions in Selfies Are Explained by Viewing Habits—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Computer Science, Stanford University, Stanford, California
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark
JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2018;20(5):431. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2018.0652

In Reply Drs Cooper and Banks raise an important, well-studied point: the human visual system can correctly convert from a 2-dimensional image (or a 2-dimensional projection on the retina) into 3 dimensions when the objects subtend the same angle and distance at initial capture and when subsequently viewed. In real life, this is almost instantaneous. The moment we see an individual in front of us, we perceive them and there is essentially no chance of there being a mismatch and the correct viewing angle/distance is a moot point. Interestingly, this phenomenon is mostly studied in controlled environments (eg, using a bite bar) and for specific tasks (eg, estimating angles between planes). As far as we know, it has never been studied for the specific task of evaluating the appearance of one’s nose. As the authors of the Letter to the Editor have rightfully noted, if the viewing distance is too close then there is a mismatch between the “correct” and actual viewing distances. As our Discussion stated, “photographs taken at shorter distances will increase the perceived ratio of nasal breadth to bizygomatic breadth.”1 The focus here is on this perceived distortion.