Modelling curve adaptation effects on high-level facial-expression judgments

Chen (Roger) Zhao, James A. Bednar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Hong Xu et al. (2008 J. Neuroscience 28:3374-83) recently showed that adaptation to curved lines can affect high-level perception of emotional affect in faces, presumably by modifying the perception of mouth curvature. For the patterns tested so far, the effect increases as the adaptation pattern curvature increases. However, standard low-level aftereffects like tilt and motion aftereffects (TAE MAE) typically show an S-shaped curve, with a decline in aftereffect strength for test patterns sufficiently different from the adaptation stimulus. In computational models of the TAE, the S-shape reflects adaptation in neurons that prefer a particular orientation, with neurons preferring very different orientations having little adaptation and thus showing weaker aftereffects. To see whether a similar explanation might apply to curvature/emotion aftereffects, we adapted an existing model of the TAE for use with curved lines and added processing for emotion judgments. We found that the model replicated the existing data on high-level effects of low-level adaptation, but strongly predicted an S-shape, ie that sufficiently large curvature values would lead to a lower effect. This prediction can be tested in humans, potentially helping to constrain the properties of the neurons underlying the effect.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event33rd European Conference on Visual Perception - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 22 Aug 201026 Aug 2010


Conference33rd European Conference on Visual Perception

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