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Ipek Oruc, Jason J. S. Barton; Improved face discrimination after face adaptation. Journal of Vision 2009;9(14):71. doi: 10.1167/9.14.71.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Adaptation is a temporary change in the perception of visual stimuli caused by prior exposure to another stimulus. It has been observed in many stages and aspects of visual processing evidenced by perceptual-bias aftereffects as well as changes in sensitivity. Whether adaptation serves a functional purpose or it is merely a by-product of neural processing has remained an open question. For example, retinal light adaptation improves discrimination around the adapted luminance level. On the other hand, evidence has been mixed on various examples of cortical adaptation, such as contrast, orientation, motion. In this study we investigated whether a more recently discovered type of adaptation — face adaptation, acts as a beneficial process to improve face perception. We compared face discrimination thresholds across three adapting conditions: (1) same-face: where adapting and test faces were the same, (2) different-face: where adapting and test faces differed, and (3) baseline: where adapting stimulus was a blank.
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