No role for lightness in the encoding of Black and White

Race-contingent face aftereffects depend on facial morphology, not facial luminance

O. Scott Gwinn*, Kevin R. Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the current study we use contingent face aftereffects to examine the contributions made by morphology and facial luminance cues to the encoding of race. African and European facial images differed in both morphology and luminance (ML), in morphology alone (M), or in luminance alone (L). Significant aftereffects were found in conditions where test stimuli included morphological information (ML and M), but not when it was absent (L). Furthermore, the size of the aftereffect for test conditions specifying race using both cues (ML) was no greater than when morphological information was the sole cue (M). This suggests that the effects measured here can be accounted for by differences in morphology alone. These results indicate that not only are individual reports of perceived racial typicality more significantly influenced by morphological shape cues than surface cues, but morphological cues appear to form the basis of the underlying neural encoding for faces of different races.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-611
Number of pages15
JournalVisual Cognition
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Aftereffects
  • Encoding
  • Face perception
  • Race
  • Visual cues

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