Limits...
Absence of Sex-Contingent Gaze Direction Aftereffects Suggests a Limit to Contingencies in Face Aftereffects.

Kloth N, Rhodes G, Schweinberger SR - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: To alleviate this concern, one would need to demonstrate some limit to contingent aftereffects.We found that adaptation induced pronounced gaze direction aftereffects, i.e., participants were biased to perceive small gaze deviations to both the left and right as direct.Importantly, however, aftereffects were identical for male and female test faces, showing that the contingency of face sex and gaze direction participants experienced during the adaptation procedure had no effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia , Perth, WA, Australia ; DFG Research Unit Person Perception, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena , Jena, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Face aftereffects (e.g., expression aftereffects) can be simultaneously induced in opposite directions for different face categories (e.g., male and female faces). Such aftereffects are typically interpreted as indicating that distinct neural populations code the categories on which adaptation is contingent, e.g., male and female faces. Moreover, they suggest that these distinct populations selectively respond to variations in the secondary stimulus dimension, e.g., emotional expression. However, contingent aftereffects have now been reported for so many different combinations of face characteristics, that one might question this interpretation. Instead, the selectivity might be generated during the adaptation procedure, for instance as a result of associative learning, and not indicate pre-existing response selectivity in the face perception system. To alleviate this concern, one would need to demonstrate some limit to contingent aftereffects. Here, we report a clear limit, showing that gaze direction aftereffects are not contingent on face sex. We tested 36 young Caucasian adults in a gaze adaptation paradigm. We initially established their ability to discriminate the gaze direction of male and female test faces in a pre-adaptation phase. Afterwards, half of the participants adapted to female faces looking left and male faces looking right, and half adapted to the reverse pairing. We established the effects of this adaptation on the perception of gaze direction in subsequently presented male and female test faces. We found that adaptation induced pronounced gaze direction aftereffects, i.e., participants were biased to perceive small gaze deviations to both the left and right as direct. Importantly, however, aftereffects were identical for male and female test faces, showing that the contingency of face sex and gaze direction participants experienced during the adaptation procedure had no effect.

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Percentage of “direct” classifications in response to male and female faces before and after gaze adaptation. (A) Adaptation to male faces with left gaze and female faces with right gaze. (B) Adaptation to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze. Error bars indicate SEMs.
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Figure 3: Percentage of “direct” classifications in response to male and female faces before and after gaze adaptation. (A) Adaptation to male faces with left gaze and female faces with right gaze. (B) Adaptation to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze. Error bars indicate SEMs.

Mentions: Gaze direction adaptation typically leads to an increased tendency to falsely classify gaze in the adapted direction as direct (Jenkins et al., 2006; Schweinberger et al., 2007; Calder et al., 2008; Kloth and Schweinberger, 2008). Gender-contingent gaze adaptation would therefore be revealed by a pattern of increased “direct” classifications that differed systematically between male and female test faces. Specifically, there should be a selective increase in “direct” responses only for those test faces that look in the same direction as the sex-congruent adaptors. For instance, participants who adapted to male stimuli with left gaze and female stimuli with right gaze would be expected to show a selective increase in “direct” responses only to male test faces with left gaze and female test faces with right gaze, but not to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze (see Figure 1A). The empirical data do not suggest such a pattern (Figure 3). Instead, participants seem to generally show aftereffects in the perception of both left and right gaze direction, indicated by an overall increase in “direct” classifications, irrespective of the sex of the test face (cf., Figure 1B).


Absence of Sex-Contingent Gaze Direction Aftereffects Suggests a Limit to Contingencies in Face Aftereffects.

Kloth N, Rhodes G, Schweinberger SR - Front Psychol (2015)

Percentage of “direct” classifications in response to male and female faces before and after gaze adaptation. (A) Adaptation to male faces with left gaze and female faces with right gaze. (B) Adaptation to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze. Error bars indicate SEMs.
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Figure 3: Percentage of “direct” classifications in response to male and female faces before and after gaze adaptation. (A) Adaptation to male faces with left gaze and female faces with right gaze. (B) Adaptation to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze. Error bars indicate SEMs.
Mentions: Gaze direction adaptation typically leads to an increased tendency to falsely classify gaze in the adapted direction as direct (Jenkins et al., 2006; Schweinberger et al., 2007; Calder et al., 2008; Kloth and Schweinberger, 2008). Gender-contingent gaze adaptation would therefore be revealed by a pattern of increased “direct” classifications that differed systematically between male and female test faces. Specifically, there should be a selective increase in “direct” responses only for those test faces that look in the same direction as the sex-congruent adaptors. For instance, participants who adapted to male stimuli with left gaze and female stimuli with right gaze would be expected to show a selective increase in “direct” responses only to male test faces with left gaze and female test faces with right gaze, but not to male faces with right gaze and female faces with left gaze (see Figure 1A). The empirical data do not suggest such a pattern (Figure 3). Instead, participants seem to generally show aftereffects in the perception of both left and right gaze direction, indicated by an overall increase in “direct” classifications, irrespective of the sex of the test face (cf., Figure 1B).

Bottom Line: To alleviate this concern, one would need to demonstrate some limit to contingent aftereffects.We found that adaptation induced pronounced gaze direction aftereffects, i.e., participants were biased to perceive small gaze deviations to both the left and right as direct.Importantly, however, aftereffects were identical for male and female test faces, showing that the contingency of face sex and gaze direction participants experienced during the adaptation procedure had no effect.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders, School of Psychology, The University of Western Australia , Perth, WA, Australia ; DFG Research Unit Person Perception, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena , Jena, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Face aftereffects (e.g., expression aftereffects) can be simultaneously induced in opposite directions for different face categories (e.g., male and female faces). Such aftereffects are typically interpreted as indicating that distinct neural populations code the categories on which adaptation is contingent, e.g., male and female faces. Moreover, they suggest that these distinct populations selectively respond to variations in the secondary stimulus dimension, e.g., emotional expression. However, contingent aftereffects have now been reported for so many different combinations of face characteristics, that one might question this interpretation. Instead, the selectivity might be generated during the adaptation procedure, for instance as a result of associative learning, and not indicate pre-existing response selectivity in the face perception system. To alleviate this concern, one would need to demonstrate some limit to contingent aftereffects. Here, we report a clear limit, showing that gaze direction aftereffects are not contingent on face sex. We tested 36 young Caucasian adults in a gaze adaptation paradigm. We initially established their ability to discriminate the gaze direction of male and female test faces in a pre-adaptation phase. Afterwards, half of the participants adapted to female faces looking left and male faces looking right, and half adapted to the reverse pairing. We established the effects of this adaptation on the perception of gaze direction in subsequently presented male and female test faces. We found that adaptation induced pronounced gaze direction aftereffects, i.e., participants were biased to perceive small gaze deviations to both the left and right as direct. Importantly, however, aftereffects were identical for male and female test faces, showing that the contingency of face sex and gaze direction participants experienced during the adaptation procedure had no effect.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus