November 2002
Volume 2, Issue 7
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   November 2002
Adaptation and categorical judgments of faces
Author Affiliations
  • Daniel Kaping
    University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
  • Aaron C. Bilson
    University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
  • Michael A. Webster
    University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
Journal of Vision November 2002, Vol.2, 564. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Daniel Kaping, Aaron C. Bilson, Michael A. Webster; Adaptation and categorical judgments of faces. Journal of Vision 2002;2(7):564.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Variations in faces are often judged and classified in terms of discrete categories (e.g. identity, gender, race, and emotional expression). We examined how the boundaries defining these categories can be influenced by prior adaptation to images within a given category, in order to test whether adaptation effects can be manifest for the types of natural variations and judgments typically involved in face perception. Stimuli were frontal-view images of faces taken from the Ekman and Matsumoto image set. Pairs of faces were morphed (Gryphon Morph v. 1.5) to form a finely graded series of images that varied between two genders, expressions, identities, or ethnicities (Caucasian and Japanese). Observers initially adapted for 1 to 3 minutes to one of the two original faces, and then made a forced-choice classification of a composite morphed image (e.g. responding male vs. female, or happy vs. angry). The proportion of the two faces making up the morph was varied over trials in a staircase to define the category boundary at which the two judgments were equally likely. Adaptation produced strong shifts in category boundaries toward the adapting image, so that the original neutral point appeared biased away from the adapting image and thus toward the second, more novel image. For example, after adapting to a male face or an expression of surprise, a face that was previously judged to be neutral was rated as female or happy, respectively. These adaptation effects are consistent with a renormalization of facial categories according to the observers' recent visual experience. The fact that large aftereffects can rapidly occur for natural and common variations in faces suggests that adaptation may routinely influence face perception in everyday viewing.

Kaping, D., Bilson, A. C., Webster, M. A.(2002). Adaptation and categorical judgments of faces [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 2( 7): 564, 564a,, doi:10.1167/2.7.564. [CrossRef]
 Supported by EY-10834

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.