Mark and Todd (1983) reported an experiment in which the cardioidal strain transformation was extended to three dimensions and applied to a three-dimensional (3-D) representation of the head of a 15-year-old girl in a direction that made the transformed head appear younger to the vast majority of their subjects. The experiments reported here extend this research in order to examine whether subjects are indeed detecting cardioidal strain in three dimensions, rather than detecting changes in head slant or making 2-D comparisons of the shape of the occluding contour. Three-dimensional surfaces were obtained by measuring a real head manually (Experiment 1) and with a laser scanner (Experiment 2), and transformed to different age levels using the 3-D strain transformation described by Mark and Todd (1983). There were no statistically significant differences in the accuracy with which relative age judgments could be made in response, to pairs of profiles, pairs of 3/4 views, or pairs of mixed views (profile plus 3/4 view), suggesting that subjects can indeed extract the cardioidal strain level of the head in three dimensions. However, an additional effect that emerged in these studies was that judgments were crucially affected by the instructions given to subjects, which suggests that factors other than cardioidal strain are important in making judgments about rich data structures.