September 2011
Volume 11, Issue 11
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2011
Adapting to male or female faces induce gender aftereffect in point-light walkers
Author Affiliations
  • Xiaoying Yang
    Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Sheng He
    Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota
  • Yi Jiang
    Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Journal of Vision September 2011, Vol.11, 691. doi:10.1167/11.11.691
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      Xiaoying Yang, Sheng He, Yi Jiang; Adapting to male or female faces induce gender aftereffect in point-light walkers. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):691. doi: 10.1167/11.11.691.

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Abstract

Although drastically different in visual features, faces and point-light biological motions both convey important properties of human beings, such as gender. Gender seems specifically represented in either face or biological motion perception, as demonstrated by gender adaptation in both types of stimuli. However, whether there is a shared gender representation between them remains unclear. The current study probes this issue by examining whether adaptation to facial gender cues influences subsequent gender perception of biological motion signals. We found that prolonged viewing of a male or female face induced a gender aftereffect in a subsequently presented biological motion test stimu li. Viewing a male face made it more likely for a point-light walker to be perceived as female, and vise versa. This effect is unlikely a simple decision bias, as the magnitude of the aftereffect depended on the adaptation duration, a property consistent with traditional perceptual aftereffects. These findings suggest that there exists a common neural substrate for the gender representation of faces and biological motions.

This research was supported by the Knowledge Innovation Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-YW-R-248 and 09CX202020) and National Natural Science Foundation of China. 
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