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Xiaoying Yang, Sheng He, Yi Jiang; Adapting to male or female faces induce gender aftereffect in point-light walkers. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):691. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/11.11.691.
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Although drastically different in visual features, faces and point-light biological motions both convey important properties of human beings, such as gender. Gender seems specifically represented in either face or biological motion perception, as demonstrated by gender adaptation in both types of stimuli. However, whether there is a shared gender representation between them remains unclear. The current study probes this issue by examining whether adaptation to facial gender cues influences subsequent gender perception of biological motion signals. We found that prolonged viewing of a male or female face induced a gender aftereffect in a subsequently presented biological motion test stimu li. Viewing a male face made it more likely for a point-light walker to be perceived as female, and vise versa. This effect is unlikely a simple decision bias, as the magnitude of the aftereffect depended on the adaptation duration, a property consistent with traditional perceptual aftereffects. These findings suggest that there exists a common neural substrate for the gender representation of faces and biological motions.
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