September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
Religious-Contingent Aftereffects for Christian and Muslim Faces
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Victoria Foglia
    McMaster University, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
  • M.D. Rutherford
    McMaster University, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 155b. doi:
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      Victoria Foglia, M.D. Rutherford; Religious-Contingent Aftereffects for Christian and Muslim Faces. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):155b.

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

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Introduction. Face recognition has been attributed to norm-based coding: individual faces are perceived based on their resemblance to a face prototype (Valentine, 1991). These face prototypes are malleable, updating based on changes in faces viewed. Adults have multiple face prototypes based on social categories such as race and gender (Jaquet, Rhodes, & Hayward 2008; Little, DeBruine, & Jones, 2005). Here we test whether faces depicting members of different religions (Christian and Muslim) are perceived using distinct face-templates using an opposing aftereffect paradigm. Methods.120 undergraduates participated, 60 of which were the control condition. During pre-adaptation, participants viewed 48 face pairs of the same model, one compressed by 10% and one expanded by 10% and selected which face they found more attractive. An audio clip introduced the face model with a name associated with one of the two religions. During adaptation, participants viewed Muslim and Christian faces expanded or contracted by 60%, with faces from each religious category altered in the opposite direction. An audio clip labelled the religious identity. During post-adaptation, participants again viewed 48 face pairs, selecting the most attractive. The control participants completed the same procedure with religiously neutral audio clips. Results. There was a significant difference in change scores when viewing Christian versus Muslim faces (t=2.30, p=.041). In addition, significantly more contracted Christian faces were selected as more attractive than expanded Christians faces in post adaptation (t=2.982, p=.018), consistent with adaptation. Though the scores for contracted Muslim faces selected did not significantly differ (t=−1.059, p=.320), the change was in the expected direction, consistent with adaptation. Preliminary results for the experimental condition reveal evidence of opposing aftereffects approaching. There were no significant differences in change scores in the control condition. Evidence of opposing aftereffects implies separate face templates for different categories of religion.

Acknowledgement: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) 

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