Adaptation to antifaces and the perception of correct famous identity in an average face

Little, Anthony C. and Hancock, Peter J.B. and DeBruine, Lisa M. and Jones, Benedict C. (2012) Adaptation to antifaces and the perception of correct famous identity in an average face. Frontiers in Psychology, 3 (FEB). Article 19. ISSN 1664-1078 (

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Previous experiments have examined exposure to anti-identities (faces that possess traits opposite to an identity through a population average), finding that exposure to antifaces enhances recognition of the plus-identity images. Here we examine adaptation to antifaces using famous female celebrities.We demonstrate: that exposure to a color and shape trans- formed antiface of a celebrity increases the likelihood of perceiving the identity from which the antiface was manufactured in a composite face and that the effect shows size invari- ance (experiment 1), equivalent effects are seen in internet and laboratory-based studies (experiment 2), adaptation to shape-only antifaces has stronger effects on identity recogni- tion than adaptation to color-only antifaces (experiment 3), and exposure to male versions of the antifaces does not influence the perception of female faces (experiment 4). Across these studies we found an effect of order where aftereffects were more pronounced in early than later trials. Overall, our studies delineate several aspects of identity aftereffects and support the proposal that identity is coded relative to other faces with special reference to a relatively sex-specific mean face representation.