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Many theorists propose that faces are coded relative to a perceptual norm that represents the central tendency (average) of our perceptual diet of faces (Diamond & Carey, 1986; Goldstein & Chance, 1980; Hebb, 1949; Hochberg, 1978; Leopold, O'Toole, Vetter, & Blanz, 2001; Rhodes, 1996; Rhodes, Brennan, & Carey, 1987; Rhodes & Leopold, in press; Valentine, 1991).

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For example, after viewing faces with “expanded” internal features, slightly expanded faces appear normal, and undistorted faces look “contracted.” In contrast, after viewing faces with “contracted” features, slightly contracted faces appear normal, and undistorted faces look “expanded” (e.g., Rhodes et al., 2003).

Importantly, these figural aftereffects affect the perception of previously unseen faces, consistent with a change in the underlying norm that is used to code appearance.

Each face has a corresponding antiface (anti Dan and anti Jim), which occupies the opposite (relative to the average) location in face space.

The antiface can be constructed by morphing the original face toward the average and beyond.

The existence of sex-contingent figural face aftereffects suggests that different norms are maintained for male and female faces.

These sex-contingent aftereffects occur when opposite aftereffects are induced simultaneously in male and female faces (Bestelmeyer, Jones, & De Bruine, 2008; Jaquet & Rhodes, 2008; Little, De Bruine, & Jones, 2005).This aftereffect seems to result from a (transient) shift of the average/norm toward the adapting face, so that low identity strength versions of the opposite identity look more distinctive and are therefore easier to identify (Rhodes & Jeffery, 2006; Rhodes et al., 2005).The aftereffect can even cause an initially “identity-neutral” average face to be perceived as different identities after adapting to different antifaces (Leopold et al., 2001, 2005; Rhodes et al., 2007).Reduced identity strength versions of Dan and Jim, created by morphing those identities toward the average, are also shown.Viewing a face for a few seconds produces an identity aftereffect in which perception is biased toward the opposite identity.So far we have talked as if there is a single face norm.

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