Redundancy effects in the processing of emotional faces

Bo Yeong Won, Yuhong V. Jiang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    How does the visual system represent the ensemble statistics of visual objects? This question has received intense interest in vision research, yet most studies have focused on the extraction of mean statistics rather than its dispersion. This study focuses on another aspect of ensemble statistics: the redundancy of the sample. In two experiments, participants were faster judging the facial expression and gender of multiple faces than a single face. The redundancy gain was equivalent for multiple identical faces and for multiple faces of different identities. To test whether the redundancy gain was due to increased strength in perceptual representation, we measured the magnitude of facial expression aftereffects. The aftereffects were equivalent when induced by a single face and by four identical faces, ruling out increased perceptual strength as an explanation for the redundancy gain. We conclude that redundant faces facilitate perception by enhancing the robustness of representation of each face.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)6-13
    Number of pages8
    JournalVision Research
    StatePublished - Jan 5 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported in part by Grant-in-Aid and the Imagine Fund from the University of Minnesota. We thank Khena Swallow, Tal Makovski, Sheng He, Wilma Koutstaal, and Heather Sigstad for their comments and suggestions, and Andrew L. Skinner and Wendy J. Adams for experimental stimuli.


    • Face perception
    • Redundancy effects
    • Summary statistics
    • Visual adaptation


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