September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
Exploring perceived face similarity and its relation to image-based spaces: an effect of familiarity
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rosyl S. Somai
    University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland
  • Peter J.B. Hancock
    University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Funding R.S.S. is supported by the Dylis Crabtree Scholarship. P.J.B.H. was supported by EPSRC grant no. EP/N007743/1, Face Matching for Automatic Identity Retrieval, Recognition, Verification and Management.
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2149. doi:
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      Rosyl S. Somai, Peter J.B. Hancock; Exploring perceived face similarity and its relation to image-based spaces: an effect of familiarity. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2149.

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

  • Supplements

One challenge in exploring the internal representation of faces is the lack of controlled stimuli changes. Researchers are often limited to verbalizable changes in the creation of a dataset. An alternative approach to verbalization for interpretability is finding image-based measures that allow us to quantify image manipulation. In this study, we explore whether PCA could be used to create controlled changes to a face by testing the effect of these changes on human perceived similarity and on computational differences in Gabor, Pixel and DNN spaces. In Experiment 1, the effect of single dimensional (PCA) colour or shape changes in unfamiliar faces was explored. We found that perceived similarity and the three image-based spaces are linearly related, almost perfectly in the case of the DNN, with a correlation of 0.94. This provides a controlled way to alter the appearance of a face. In experiment 2, the effect of familiarity on the perception of multidimensional changes was explored. Our findings show that there is a positive relationship between the number of components changed and both the perceived similarity and the same three image-based spaces used in experiment 1. We found that familiar faces are rated more similar overall than unfamiliar faces. That is, a change to a familiar face is perceived as making less difference than the exact same change to an unfamiliar face. The ability to quantify, and thus control, these changes is a powerful tool in exploring the factors that mediate a change in perceived identity.


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