How face perception unfolds over time
Katharina Dobs, Leyla Isik, Dimitrios Pantazis, Nancy Kanwisher
Received Date: 24th October 18
Within a fraction of a second of viewing a face, we have already determined its gender, age and identity. A full understanding of this remarkable feat will require a characterization of the computational steps it entails, along with the representations extracted at each. To this end, we used magnetencephalography to measure the time course of neural responses to faces, thereby addressing two fundamental questions about how face processing unfolds over time. First, using representational similarity analysis, we found that facial gender and age information emerged before identity information, suggesting a coarse-to-fine processing of face dimensions. Second, identity and gender representations of familiar faces were enhanced very early on, indicating that the previously-reported behavioral benefit for familiar faces results from tuning of early feed-forward processing mechanisms. These findings start to reveal the time course of face perception in humans, and provide powerful new constraints on computational theories of face perception.
Read in full at bioRxiv.
This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.