Face aftereffects following perception and imagery of gender and expression

Edoardo ZAMUNER, Matt OXNER, William HAYWARD

Research output: Journal PublicationsConference Abstractpeer-review


Visual mental imagery is thought to activate many of the same neural mechanisms involved in visual perception. To what degree does the process of imagining a face share neural mechanisms with visually perceiving the same face? Extant work using adaptation paradigms to investigate the neural correlates of perception and imagery of faces has yielded inconsistent results. While some studies report typical aftereffects for perception and imagery (i.e. test faces appeared less like the adaptors after perceiving and imagining faces), others have observed typical aftereffects for perception (i.e. androgynous test faces appeared more male after perceiving females), but atypical aftereffects for imagery (i.e. androgynous test faces appeared more female after imagining females). The present study examined aftereffects following perception and imagery of faces, while controlling for possible task and design confounds. Experiment 1 tested gender aftereffects, and found typical aftereffects for perception and imagery, as in both tasks the perceived gender of androgynous test faces was biased away from the gender of the adaptors. In Experiment, 2 we used the same paradigm to investigate adaptation to perception and imagery of facial expressions of emotions. Our findings indicate that within-emotion adaptation to perceived and imagined expressions generated similar aftereffects, for they both biased perception of neutral-emotional test expressions away from the emotion category of the adaptor. Taken together, our results show that imagery of facial gender and expression recruits the same neural mechanisms that are active during perception of these facial attributes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 16th Annual Meeting of the Vision Sciences Society, 2016 - TradeWinds Island Resorts, St. Pete Beach, United States
Duration: 13 May 201618 May 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Face aftereffects following perception and imagery of gender and expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this