Repetition probability effects for inverted faces

Mareike Grotheer, Petra Hermann, Zoltán Vidnyánszky, Gyula Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


It has been shown, that the repetition related reduction of the blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal is modulated by the probability of repetitions (P(rep)) for faces (Summerfield et al., 2008), providing support for the predictive coding (PC) model of visual perception (Rao and Ballard, 1999). However, the stage of face processing where repetition suppression (RS) is modulated by P(rep) is still unclear. Face inversion is known to interrupt higher level configural/holistic face processing steps and if modulation of RS by P(rep) takes place at these stages of face processing, P(rep) effects are expected to be reduced for inverted when compared to upright faces. Therefore, here we aimed at investigating whether P(rep) effects on RS observed for face stimuli originate at the higher-level configural/holistic stages of face processing by comparing these effects for upright and inverted faces. Similarly to previous studies, we manipulated P(rep) for pairs of stimuli in individual blocks of fMRI recordings. This manipulation significantly influenced repetition suppression in the posterior FFA, the OFA and the LO, independently of stimulus orientation. Our results thus reveal that RS in the ventral visual stream is modulated by P(rep) even in the case of face inversion and hence strongly compromised configural/holistic face processing. An additional whole-brain analysis could not identify any areas where the modulatory effect of probability was orientation specific either. These findings imply that P(rep) effects on RS might originate from the earlier stages of face processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-423
Number of pages8
Issue numberP2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 2014


  • Expectation
  • Faces
  • Inversion
  • Prediction
  • Repetition suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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