(199 kB) Wincenciak J, Dzhelyova M, Perrett DI & Barraclough NE (2014). Adaptation to facial trustworthiness is different in male and female observers. Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Natal, Brazil. July 2014.

Perceptual aftereffects, in which viewing faces of a given type typically decreases sensitivity to that trait in new faces, have been used to investigate the perceptual mechanisms underlying the processing of various facial characteristics, including identity, sex, and emotional expression. To investigate how recent visual experience influences trustworthiness judgments, we examined how adaptation to perceived trustworthiness in faces influences perceptions of the trustworthiness of subsequent faces. Women showed typically repulsive aftereffects, where novel faces were more likely to be judged as untrustworthy after viewing trustworthy faces and were more likely to be judged as trustworthy after viewing untrustworthy faces. These aftereffects were unaffected by manipulating the sex of the adapting or test stimuli. In contrast, recent visual experience did not influence menís perceptions of the trustworthiness of new faces. This sex difference suggests that different mechanisms may underpin menís and womenís perception of facial trustworthiness.

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