Gay men can recall familiar faces faster and more accurately than their heterosexual counterparts because, like women, they use both sides of their brains, according to a new study by York University researchers. The study, published in the journal, Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition, examined the influence of gender, sexual orientation and whether we’re right-or-left-handed on our ability to recognize faces. It found that when memorizing and discriminating between faces, homosexual men show patterns of bilaterality—the usage of both sides of the brain—similar to heterosexual women. Heterosexual men tend to favour the right hemisphere for such tasks. “Our results suggest that both gay men and heterosexual women code faces bilaterally. That allows for faster retrieval of stored information,” says study lead author Jennifer Steeves, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health. Steeves and her colleagues also investigated the influence of hand dominance on such tasks. They found that left-handed heterosexual participants had better face recognition abilities than left-handed homosexuals, and also outperformed right-handed heterosexuals.