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  Looking Down, Looking Up: Does Stature Influence Face Recognition?

Bülthoff, I., Wolf, T., & Thornton, I. (2007). Looking Down, Looking Up: Does Stature Influence Face Recognition?. Poster presented at 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007), Tübingen, Germany.

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 Creators:
Bülthoff, I1, 2, Author           
Wolf, T1, 2, Author           
Thornton, IM, Author           
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, Spemannstrasse 38, 72076 Tübingen, DE, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: In the German population, men are on average 13 cm taller than women [1]. Smaller people,
many of them women, look at other faces from below (viewing angle) while tall people look
at others from above. The minimal distance between 2 persons not engaged in mutual gaze
is around 50 cm [2]. Thus, with regard to male and female average statures, in close-up situations,
the average viewing angle between males and females is around 13 deg. Do people
have therefore different “preferred” representations of faces depending on their stature? More
specifically, are tall and small people more efficient at processing face seen “from above” and
from “below” respectively? Furthermore, do observers have different “preferred” representations
of male and female faces because men are on average taller than women? To investigate
the influence of stature and sex on face recognition, we first investigated whether efficiency in a
sex classification task might be influenced by face orientation. To maximize stature differences
between participants, we tested two groups: small women (under 165cm) and tall men (over
180cm). If face representation is influenced by stature, we expect small women to be more
efficient (faster) at processing faces viewed as seen from below and vice-versa for tall men.
Furthermore, because of natural average stature differences between men and women, efficient
categorization of male and female faces might depend on their orientation. We used unfamiliar
male and female faces shown at pitch angles between -18 deg (looking downward) to +18 deg
(looking upward). We tested participants in a speeded sex classification task. Male and female
participants saw 220 faces one by one and had to classify them as male or female as fast as
possible. Classification accuracy was high (over 95). Analysis of reaction times does not
show any relation between stature of observer, sex of shown face and its pitch orientation, thus
suggesting that face processing with regards to sex is not influenced predominantly by stature
of observer or sex of presented face.

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 Dates: 2007-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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Title: 10th Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz (TWK 2007)
Place of Event: Tübingen, Germany
Start-/End Date: 2007-07-27 - 2007-07-29

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Title: 10th Tübinger Perception Conference: TWK 2007
Source Genre: Proceedings
 Creator(s):
Bülthoff, HH1, Editor           
Chatziastros, A1, Editor           
Mallot, HA, Editor           
Ulrich, R, Editor
Affiliations:
1 Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797            
Publ. Info: Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany : Knirsch
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 109 Identifier: ISBN: 3-927091-77-4