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Comparative Study
. 1995 Dec;187 ( Pt 3)(Pt 3):593-602.

Fourier Analysis of Human Soft Tissue Facial Shape: Sex Differences in Normal Adults

Free PMC article
Comparative Study

Fourier Analysis of Human Soft Tissue Facial Shape: Sex Differences in Normal Adults

V F Ferrario et al. J Anat. .
Free PMC article


Sexual dimorphism in human facial form involves both size and shape variations of the soft tissue structures. These variations are conventionally appreciated using linear and angular measurements, as well as ratios, taken from photographs or radiographs. Unfortunately this metric approach provides adequate quantitative information about size only, eluding the problems of shape definition. Mathematical methods such as the Fourier series allow a correct quantitative analysis of shape and of its changes. A method for the reconstruction of outlines starting from selected landmarks and for their Fourier analysis has been developed, and applied to analyse sex differences in shape of the soft tissue facial contour in a group of healthy young adults. When standardised for size, no sex differences were found between both cosine and sine coefficients of the Fourier series expansion. This shape similarity was largely overwhelmed by the very evident size differences and it could be measured only using the proper mathematical methods.

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