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Sarah Laurence, Valentina Proietti, Catherine Mondloch; Dustin Hoffman Then and Now: The Age Invariance of Familiar Face Representations is Dependent on Experience. . Journal of Vision 2016;16(12):911. doi: 10.1167/16.12.911.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Our representations for familiar faces are thought to be invariant to changes in their appearance. However, one aspect of invariance that has received little attention is whether our familiar face representations are invariant to the changes brought about by aging. Young and Bruce (2011) pose the question "Do we have one FRU for Paul McCartney when he was in the Beatles and one for when he was 64, or what?" (p. 970). The current study was designed to explicitly test this question using Face Identity Aftereffects. Young and older adults were adapted to two familiar celebrities (e.g., Paul McCartney and Steve Martin); the adapting faces were young on some trials (e.g., Paul McCartney when he was in the Beatles) and old in others (e.g., Paul McCartney from the present day). They subsequently made 2AFC identity decisions with morph faces (e.g., 50% McCartney/50% Martin) that were young on some trials and old on others. Data-to-date (n= 30 Young adults; n = 22 Older Adults) suggest that young adults show adaptation only when the age of the adaptor matches the age of the test faces. Older adults, like young adults, show adaptation when the age of the adaptor matches the age of the test faces, but also when the adaptor is an old face and the test faces are young. These findings have implications for our representations of familiar faces and how these representations change across time. Young adults who learned both young and old celebrity faces simultaneously (i.e., who were not alive for Beatlemania) appear to store separate representations whereas older adults, who aged with the celebrities, appear to have a more integrated representation with some asymmetry in the relation between current (old) and past faces.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2016
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