Little AC, Feinberg DR, DeBruine LM, Jones BC. Adaptation of faces and voices: within-modal, cross-modal, and sex-specific effects. Cognition.
Exposure to faces or voices biases perceptions of subsequently perceived stimuli, respectively. In face studies, exposure can cause subsequently seen stimuli to be perceived as more normal if they are similar to the exposed stimuli. Outside of such adaptation studies, there has been much interest in cross modal perception whereby, for example, auditory stimuli influence the perception of visual stimuli. We examined adaptation effects within and across modalities by examining the influence of exposure to voices on the subsequent perception of faces as well as examining the extent adaptation crosses the salient boundary of stimulus gender. We exposed participants to masculinised or feminised faces or voices and measured how normal masculinity/femininity was perceived. The data demonstrate that exposure to female faces or voices subsequently altered perceptions of both the experienced stimuli and novel female stimuli in line with experience. Exposure to female stimuli did not influence subsequent perception of male stimuli. Most interestingly, we found that adaptation effects crossed modality as exposure to masculine/feminine female voices influenced normality judgements of masculine/feminine female faces, though again no effects were seen on male stimuli. As adaptation potentially reflects changes in responses of neural populations our results suggest that the human brain contains discrete representations male and female faces and voices and that exposure to masculine or feminine sounding voices at cross-talks