Adaptation duration affects the spatial selectivity of facial aftereffects

Gyula Kovács, Márta Zimmer, Irén Harza, Zoltán Vidnyánszky

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Adaptation processes in human early visual cortical areas are sensitive to the exposure time of the adaptor stimulus. Here we investigated the effect of adaptation duration at the higher, shape-specific stages of visual processing using facial adaptation. It was found that long-term (5 s) adaptation evokes facial aftereffects consisting of a position invariant as well as a position-specific component. As a result of adaptation to a female face, test faces were judged more masculine when they were displayed in the same location as the female adaptor face, as compared to that when they were presented in the opposite visual hemifield. However, aftereffects evoked by short-term (500 ms) adaptation were found to be entirely position invariant. In accordance with these behavioral results, we found that the adaptation effects, measured on the amplitude of the N170 ERP component consisted of a position-specific component only after long-term, but not after short-term adaptation conditions. These results suggest that both short and long exposure to a face stimulus leads to adaptation of position invariant face-selective processes, whereas adaptation of position-specific neural mechanisms of face processing requires long-term adaptation. Our findings imply that manipulating adaptation duration provides an opportunity to specifically adapt different neural processes of shape-specific coding and to investigate their stimulus selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3141-3149
Number of pages9
JournalVision Research
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2007


  • Event-related potentials (ERPs)
  • Face processing
  • Human
  • Position invariance
  • Timing
  • Translational invariance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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