Are face representations viewpoint dependent? A stereo advantage for generalising across different views of faces

Darren Burke*, Jessica Taubert, Talia Higman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    33 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Almost all previous studies of face recognition have found that matching the same face depicted from different viewpoints incurs both reaction time and accuracy costs. This has been interpreted as evidence that the underlying neural representations of faces are viewpoint-specific, but such a conclusion depends on the experimental data being an accurate reflection of real-world viewpoint generalisation. An equally plausible explanation for poor viewpoint generalisation in experimental situations is that important information that is normally used to generalise across views in real-world settings is not available in the experiment. Stereoscopic information about the three-dimensional structure of the face is systematically misleading in nearly all previous investigations of face recognition, since a face depicted on a computer monitor contains explicit stereoscopic information that the face is flat. The current experiment demonstrates that viewpoint costs are reduced by depicting the face with stereoscopic three-dimensionality (compared to a synoptically presented face), raising the possibility that the viewpoint costs found in face recognition experiments might be a better reflection of the information that is typically unavailable in the experimental stimuli than of the underlying neural representation of facial identity. Crown

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2164-2169
    Number of pages6
    JournalVision Research
    Volume47
    Issue number16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007

    Keywords

    • Face perception
    • Face recognition
    • Stereopsis
    • Viewpoint

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