June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Gender aftereffects in the perception of silhouetted face profiles
Author Affiliations
  • Nicolas Davidenko
    Stanford University
  • Jonathan Winawer
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Nathan Witthoft
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 1068. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.1068
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      Nicolas Davidenko, Jonathan Winawer, Nathan Witthoft; Gender aftereffects in the perception of silhouetted face profiles. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):1068. https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.1068.

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

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Recent studies have shown figural aftereffects in the perception of faces, including gender, race, and identity aftereffects (e.g., Leopold et al., 2001; Webster et al., 2004; Witthoft & Winawer, 2005). In such studies, prolonged exposure to a face with a particular characteristic (e.g., female) temporarily biases subsequent perception of faces in the opposite direction in face-space (e.g., male). Here we report such adaptation in a brief, implicit adaptation paradigm using parameterized silhouetted face profiles that rely on 18 landmark points to specify each face (Davidenko, 2004). We constructed a set of 8 male and 8 female face silhouettes, and a gender-neutral silhouette produced by averaging 20 male and 20 female silhouettes. Subjects were unaware that there were separate adaptation and test conditions; they simply rated each of 9 silhouettes on one of four dimensions: age, race, attractiveness, or gender. The first 8 silhouettes were either all female (Condition 1) or all male (Condition 2), and the 9th face was gender-neutral. Gender was only rated on the 9th face. We report a dramatic gender aftereffect with face silhouettes: 97% of subjects in Condition 1 (57 of 59) labeled the neutral silhouette as male, compared to 39% in Condition 2 (24 of 62). To our knowledge, this is the first report of face adaptation using profiles. In addition, these effects further validate Davidenko's silhouette face-space.

Davidenko, N. Winawer, J. Witthoft, N. (2006). Gender aftereffects in the perception of silhouetted face profiles [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):1068, 1068a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/1068/, doi:10.1167/6.6.1068. [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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