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Psychol Sci. 2006 Jun;17(6):501-5.

View-specific coding of face shape.

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School of Psychology, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.


Monkey and human cortex contain view-specific face neurons, but it remains unclear whether they code face shape. We tested the view specificity of face-shape coding by inducing figural face aftereffects at one viewpoint (3/4 left) and testing generalization to different viewpoints (front view and 3/4 right). The aftereffects were induced by adaptation to consistent figural distortions (contracted or expanded), which shifts the distortion perceived as most normal toward the adapting distortion. The strong aftereffect that was observed at the adapting view was significantly and substantially reduced for both front-view test faces and mirror-image (3/4 right) test faces, indicating view specificity. The limited transfer across mirror views is strong evidence of view specificity, given their figural similarity. The aftereffects survived a size change between adaptation and test faces (Experiment 2), a result that rules out low-level adaptation as an explanation. These results provide strong evidence that face-shape coding is view-specific.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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