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Front Psychol. 2013 Jul 11;4:413. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00413. eCollection 2013.

Bodies adapt orientation-independent face representations.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Faces and bodies share a great number of semantic attributes, such as gender, emotional expressiveness, and identity. Recent studies demonstrate that bodies can activate and modulate face perception. However, the nature of the face representation that is activated by bodies remains unknown. In particular, face and body representations have previously been shown to have a degree of orientation specificity. Here we use body-face adaptation aftereffects to test whether bodies activate face representations in an orientation-dependent manner. Specifically, we used a two-by-two design to examine the magnitude of the body-face aftereffect using upright and inverted body adaptors and upright and inverted face targets. All four conditions showed significant body-face adaptation. We found neither a main effect of body orientation nor an interaction between body and face orientation. There was a main effect of target face orientation, with inverted target faces showing larger aftereffects than upright target faces, consistent with traditional face-face adaptation. Taken together, these results suggest that bodies adapt and activate a relatively orientation-independent representation of faces.


aftereffects; body inversion; body perception; body-face interaction; face adaptation; face inversion effect; face perception; perceptual adaptation

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