August 2009
Volume 9, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2009
Does your height affect the way you represent faces?
Author Affiliations
  • Isabelle Büthoff
    Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Tobias Wolf
    Max Planck Institute for biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany
  • Ian M. Thornton
    Department of Psychology, Swansea University, Swansea, UK
Journal of Vision August 2009, Vol.9, 503. doi:
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      Isabelle Büthoff, Tobias Wolf, Ian M. Thornton; Does your height affect the way you represent faces?. Journal of Vision 2009;9(8):503.

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

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Embodied Cognition implies that our own bodies, the way we act with our bodies, and the way our bodies fit into the environment, should all have important implications for our mental representation of the world. In the current work, was asked whether height, with respect to other people, would have any influence on face perception. When we stand next to someone who is taller than us, our view of the face of this person is quite different from when we look at someone who is shorter. Could experience, based on our own height, affect the way we represent faces? More specifically, might people who are above average height (Group 1: male observers [[gt]] 190 cm) be more efficient at processing faces seen from above? Conversely, might people who are below average height (Group 2: female observers [[lt]]160 cm) be more efficient with faces seen from below? These predictions were tested in two experiments. First, we asked whether efficiency in a speeded sex classification task would be influenced by target face orientation (pitch). In a second experiment, participants were first familiarized with two target faces before performing a speeded visual search task. During familiarization, participants could inspect the faces from any viewpoint. During search, the pitch was identical for all faces, but varied from trial to trial. No clear group differences emerged in either experiment. Thus, at least with the current methods, we could find no evidence that idiosyncratic viewing history, as a result of an individual's height, affects the perception of faces.

Bülthoff, I. Wolf, T. Thornton, I. M. (2009). Does your height affect the way you represent faces? [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 9(8):503, 503a,, doi:10.1167/9.8.503. [CrossRef]

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