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Christopher P. Benton, Emma C. Burgess; The direction of measured face aftereffects. Journal of Vision 2008;8(15):1. doi: 10.1167/8.15.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Prolonged viewing of a face can result in a change of our perception of subsequent faces. This process of adaptation is believed to be functional and to reflect optimization-driven changes in the neural encoding. Because it is believed to target the neural systems underlying face processing, the measurement of face aftereffects is seen as a powerful behavioral technique that can provide deep insights into our facial encoding. Face identity aftereffects have typically been measured by assessing the way in which adaptation changes the perception of images from a test sequence, the latter commonly derived from morphing between two base images. The current study asks to what extent such face aftereffects are driven by the test sequence used to measure them. Using subjects trained to respond either to identity of expression, we examined the effects of identity and expression adaptation on test stimuli that varied in both identity and expression. We found that face adaptation produced measured aftereffects that were congruent with the adaptation stimulus; the composition of the test sequences did not affect the measured direction of the face aftereffects. Our results support the view that face adaptation studies can meaningfully tap into the intrinsically multidimensional nature of our representation of facial identity.
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