New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Illusory Feature Slowing: Evidence for Perceptual Models of Global Facial Change

Richard Cook, Clarisse Aichelburg, and Alan Johnston

Much of the research examining face perception has studied static faces; there is less research examining how we process faces in motion. Participants viewed two faces: a standard face that was presented in an upright or an inverted position and a comparison face that was always presented upright. The eyes and the mouth of the standard face opened and closed, while only the eyes on the comparison face moved. The eye and mouth movements on the standard face occurred concurrently or out of phase with each other. The researchers found that mouth movement in the upright standard faces caused participants to perceive the eye movements as being slower — but only under certain phase conditions — suggesting that these features are being integrated into models of global face change.

A Lack of Experience-Dependent Plasticity After More Than a Decade of Recovered Sight

Elizabeth Huber, Jason M. Webster, Alyssa A. Brewer, Donald I. A. MacLeod, Brian A. Wandell, Geoffrey M. Boynton, Alex R. Wade, and Ione Fine

In 2000, a patient named M. M., who had been blind between the ages of 3 and 46, had his sight restored. A test of his visual abilities indicated that although he was generally able to perceive color, movement, and perceptual forms, he showed severe deficits in the perception of complex forms, objects, and faces. Could M. M. recover these abilities with sufficient visual experience? More than a decade after his sight-restoring surgery, M. M. completed a series of tasks assessing object classification, face classification, and the perception of simple 2-D and 3-D objects and complex 3-D objects. M. M.’s performance indicated little to no improvement in the areas of original difficulty, suggesting that the visual architecture of the brain has limited plasticity in adulthood.

How Do Stereotypes Influence Choice?

Anne-Sophie Chaxel

In this study of the influence of information distortion on the process by which stereotyping affects choice, participants completed a gender-career implicit association test (IAT) before completing a choice task meant to assess information distortion. In the choice task, participants read three sequential attributes about two candidates (J and K). The first attribute listed was always in favor of Professor J, who was described as being male or female. If Professor J was male, Professor K was female, and vice versa. Participants with higher IAT scores evaluated the male target more positively regardless of whether he was leading or trailing in the choice process. However, there were no significant differences in the evaluations of female targets.

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