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Vision Res. 2005 Jun;45(14):1815-28.

The nature of synthetic face adaptation.

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Centre for Vision Research, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ont., Canada M3J 1P3.


Recent evidence demonstrates that adapting to a face will systematically bias the perception of faces that lie along the same identity trajectory in geometric face space but not faces that lie along different identity trajectories. We explored this configural aftereffect using synthetic face stimuli developed to measure face-specific processing. Adapting to synthetic "anti-faces" resulted in an identity-specific aftereffect that was characterized by a marked decrease in the slope of the psychometric functions. Adaptation transferred across different face sizes, but not different face viewpoints nor faces constructed about a non-mean face. Performance was captured by a model where responses were modulated through a divisive gain control and an additive constant reflecting a shift in the origin of perceived face space. Together, these results suggest that face adaptation reflects activity from mechanisms common to various processing stages along the visual pathway.

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