Adaptation and Face Perception: How Aftereffects Implicate Norm-Based Coding of Faces

Gillian Rhodes*, Rachel Robbins, Emma Jaquet, Elinor McKone, Linda Jeffery, Colin W G Clifford

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    84 Citations (Scopus)


    Faces provide vital social information which shapes one's interactions. A response to a person depends on one's perception of their identity, sex, age, attractiveness, health, and ethnicity, as well as their emotional and attentional states. All of this information is read from the face. Although one does this effortlessly, but not always accurately, human visual system must solve a difficult problem because faces are all very similar as visual patterns. How does the visual system solve this problem, computationally and neurally? This chapter considers whether aftereffects in face perception can help one understand these mechanisms. It suggests that high-level and possibly face-specific aftereffects implicate norm-based, or prototype-referenced, coding of faces and discusses how these aftereffects implicate possible opponent coding of faces and indicate the important dimensions in 'face-space'.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFitting the Mind to the World: Adaptation and After-Effects in High-Level Vision
    PublisherOxford University Press
    ISBN (Electronic)9780191689697
    ISBN (Print)9780198529699
    Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2005


    • Emotional states
    • Face perception
    • Facespace
    • Norm-based coding
    • Visual patterns
    • Visual system


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