Size-invariant but viewpoint-dependent representation of faces

Yunjo Lee, Kazumichi Matsumiya, Hugh R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The present study investigated the role of size and view on face discrimination, using a novel set of synthetic face stimuli. Face discrimination thresholds were measured using a 2AFC match-to-sample paradigm, where faces were discriminated from a mean face. In Experiment 1, which assessed the effect of size alone, subjects had to match faces that differed in size up to four-fold. In Experiment 2 where only viewpoint was manipulated, a target face was presented at one of four different views (0°front, 6.7°, 13.3°, and 20°side) and subsequent matches appeared either at the same or different view. Experiment 3 investigated how face view interacts with size changes, and subjects matched faces differing both in size and view. The results were as follows: (1) size changes up to four-fold had no effect on face discrimination; (2) threshold for matching different face views increased with angular difference from frontal view; (3) size differences across different views had no effect on face discrimination. Additionally, the present study found a perceptual boundary between 6.7°and 13.3°side views, grouping 0°front and 6.7°side views together and 13.3°and 20°side views together. This suggests categorical perception of face view. The present study concludes that face view and size are processed by parallel mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1901-1910
Number of pages10
JournalVision Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun


  • Face discrimination
  • Face size
  • Synthetic faces
  • Viewpoint


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