Representing young and older adult faces: Shared or age-specific prototypes?
Short, Lindsey A.
Mondloch, Catherine J.
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Young adults recognize young adult faces more accurately than older adult faces and are more sensitive to how individual young faces deviate from a norm/prototype. Here we used an adaptation paradigm to examine whether young and older adult faces are represented by separable norms and the extent to which the coding dimensions for these two categories overlap. In Experiment 1, following adaptation to oppositely distorted young and older faces (e.g., expanded young and compressed older faces), adults’ normality judgments simultaneously shifted in opposite directions for the two face categories, providing evidence for separable norms. In Experiment 2, participants were adapted to distorted faces from a single age category (e.g., compressed young); aftereffects transferred across face age but were larger for the face age that matched adaptation. Collectively, these results provide evidence that young and older faces are processed with regard to separable norms that share some underlying coding dimensions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]