Little AC, DeBruine LM, Jones BC & Waitt C (2006). Category contingent face aftereffects suggest distinct neural populations code faces of different races, ages and species. European Conference on Visual Perception in St Petersburg, Russia. August 2006.

Exposure to faces biases perceptions of subsequently viewed faces. Faces similar to those seen previously are judged more normal than they were prior to exposure. Category contingent aftereffects have been shown for upright versus inverted faces and for male versus female faces, whereby adaptation to one category does not affect judgements of the other. Here we show category contingent aftereffects following adaptation to eye-spacing for European versus African faces (Experiment 1), adult versus infant faces (Experiment 2) and human versus monkey faces (Experiment 3). Viewing faces of one category with increased eye-spacing and faces of the other category with decreased eye-spacing simultaneously induced opposite aftereffects according to face category as assessed by normality judgments. Because aftereffects reflect changes in responses of neural populations that code faces, our findings suggest that distinct neural populations code faces of different races, ages, and species.

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