Saturday, May 24, 2008

Imagine Jane and Identify John: Face Identity Aftereffects Induced by Imagined Faces

Jae-Jin Ryu, Karen Borrmann, Avi Chaudhuri

It is not known whether prolonged exposure to perceived and imagined complex visual images produces similar shifts in subsequent perception through selective adaptation. This question is important because a positive finding would suggest that perception and imagery of visual stimuli are mediated by shared neural networks. In this study, we used a selective adaptation procedure designed to induce high-level face-identity aftereffects—a phenomenon in which extended exposure to a particular face facilitates recognition of subsequent faces with opposite features while impairing recognition of all other faces. We report here that adaptation to either real or imagined faces produces a similar shift in perception and that identity boundaries represented in real and imagined faces are equivalent. Together, our results show that identity information contained in imagined and real faces produce similar behavioral outcomes. Our findings of high-level visual aftereffects induced by imagined stimuli can be taken as evidence for the involvement of shared neural networks that mediate perception and imagery of complex visual stimuli.

Free Fulltext: PlosOne

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