Fluctuating Asymmetry

Fluctuating asymmetry is an organism’s deviation from bilateral symmetry. It can be measured in the body—as in bilateral symmetry of finger lengths—or in a particular organ. It is related to concepts of symmetry such as facial symmetry, and is believed to measure the ability of the genome to successfully canalize and buffer development to achieve a normal phenotype under imperfect environmental conditions, as implied by Waddington's notion of canalization. As such it is a key concept in evolution and development, and underlies concepts such as resilience or developmental stability—the ability to maintain a normal developmental course under stress.

In individual differences research, FA has been found to have a negative correlation to measurements of human traits such as social dominance, working memory, and intelligence. In old age, facial symmetry has been associated with better cognitive aging. There is some evidence that the degree of bodily symmetry in individuals influences our assessment of how well they dance, supporting Darwin's suggestion that dance is a sexually selected courtship signal. Symmetry also affects physical attractiveness.

Other articles related to "fluctuating asymmetry":

Red-collared Widowbird - Behavior and Ecology - Sexual Ornaments - Plumage
... Fluctuating asymmetry is a population phenomenon of random deviation in a morphological trait ... Some researchers think that fluctuating asymmetry reflect an indirect measure of fitness ... The sexual ornament displayed, the degree of fluctuating asymmetry, reflects the male’s ability to deal with environmental and genetic stress, thus as an observer, there is a ...

Famous quotes containing the word fluctuating:

    Some fluctuating notions concerning repentance, virtue, honor, morality ... hovered around Lady Dellwyn’s thoughts but were too wavering to bring her to any fixed determination. She became a constant attendant from one public place to another, where she met with many mortifications. But yet even these were not quite so dreadful to her as to retire and be subjected to her own company alone.
    Sarah Fielding (1710–1768)