Because of its subjective character, the term “breast attractiveness” is poorly defined and thus its reliable standardized assessment can be particularly challenging. Because of objective analysis of the observer’s gaze pattern, eye-tracking technology may provide a better insight into the visual perception of breast aesthetics and symmetry.
One hundred observers, 50 women and 50 men, assessed the aesthetics and symmetry of eight types of female breasts displayed as digital images on frontal, lateral, and oblique projections. The gaze pattern of each observer was recorded using eye-tracking technology, and gaze data were subsequently analyzed.
Although sex and breast type exerted an effect on attention capturing by some areas of interest, key characteristics of gaze patterns in female and male observers were essentially the same. Irrespective of observers’ sex, the longest fixation duration and the highest fixation number were recorded for lower breast regions, in particular, for the nipple-areola complex. Mean fixation duration in this area corresponded to 58 and 57 percent of overall observation time for female and male observers, respectively, during the assessment of breast aesthetics; and to 56 and 52 percent of overall observation time for female and male observers, respectively, during the assessment of breast symmetry.
Nipple-areola complex and lower breast are key focus areas for the assessment of breast aesthetics and symmetry. Gaze data collected during this study may constitute a valuable source of reference values for future eye-tracking research on various patient groups’ visual perception of breast attractiveness and deformities.