[Face-research-list] time course of adaptation

O'Toole, Alice J otoole at utdallas.edu
Sun Feb 26 20:35:51 GMT 2012

Hi Peter et al.

Thanks for sharing this, it is a good point to make and definitely
rings true from my informal experience over the years.
Years ago when we did the anti-face adaption paper, David Leopold did the
psychophysics at MPI with quite beautiful and elaborate adapting techniques,
and zillions of trials on a few subjects. Simultaneously, I did a "quick and dirty"
version of short adaptation trials with less fuss and more subjects in Texas.
I did the second version because I was worried that people
would think it required methods that were too complicated to get the result.
We both got the same results, and in the end, we laughed about the fact that he was used to testing
monkeys (very cooperative) and I was used to dealing with undergrads with
a short attention spans. His data were lovely so in the first submit of the paper,
we used only his data. As it turned out, my worry about how the complexity of the procedure
would seem to reviewers proved true, and we got a comment much
like I had anticipated -- how much data and time you
needed to get the effect?? - given that we already had the data from
the TX experiment, this comment was easy to answer by just including
the data or noting them, I forget which.

I think the temporal questions fascinated David especially vis a vis more standard
low level adaptation. He, Gill Rhodes, Kai-Marcus Muller and Linda Jeffreys
have a paper on temporal effects that is well worth reading.

Leopold, D.A., Rhodes, G.I., Muller, K-M., Jeffery, L.R. 2005, 'The dynamics of visual adaptation to faces', Proceedings of the Royal Society: B, 272, pp. 897-904.


From: face-research-list-bounces at lists.stir.ac.uk [face-research-list-bounces at lists.stir.ac.uk] on behalf of Peter Hancock [p.j.b.hancock at stir.ac.uk]
Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:23 AM
To: face-research-list Mailing List
Subject: [Face-research-list] time course of adaptation

Dear all, over the years I have tried various face adaptation experiments, with mostly incoherent results, and watched puzzled as everyone else publishes neat little findings.  I began to suspect strong temporal effects and we have finally managed to publish some results demonstrating this with adaptation to antifaces: almost all the effect derives from the first few trials; it is as if whatever is adapting gets ‘tired’ after that.  It may be that others have picked up on this already but I figured it might be useful to draw attention to the finding in case there are those who, like me, are baffled by otherwise strange results.



Peter Hancock
Deputy Head of Psychology,
School of Natural Sciences
University of Stirling
phone 01786 467675
fax 01786 467641

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