Peter Dechent1, Carmen Morawetz1,2, Jrgen Baudewig1, Stefan Treue2,3, Mike Webster4, Daniel Kaping2
1MR-Research in Neurology and Psychiatry, University Gttingen, Gttingen, Germany; 2Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, German Primate Center, Gttingen, Germany; 3Bernstein Center of Computational Neuroscience, Gttingen, Germany; 4Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, USA
Individual faces are thought to be perceived according to how they deviate from a norm or average face. We directly probed the neural basis for a norm in face perception by using fMRI to measure responses to normal faces after adapting to abnormal (distorted) faces, or vice versa. Paralleling perceptual aftereffects, hemodynamic response changes were much stronger for the normal faces following the distorted adaptor. This asymmetry suggests that normal faces reflect more neutral response states in the representation of faces, consistent with a norm-based code in face-selective cortical areas.