On the other side of the mean: the perception of dissimilarity in human faces.
We created a 'face space' using a laser-scan representation of faces. In this space, a caricature can be made by moving a face away from the average face, along the line connecting the particular face to the average face. Here, we move the face along this line in the other direction, proceeding through the mean and 'out the other side'. This results in a face that is 'opposite', in a computational sense, to the original face. We morphed several faces into their anti-faces and sampled the morph trajectory in five discrete steps. We then collected similarity ratings from human participants for all possible pairs of morphed faces to determine how the distances in the 'physical face space' related to the distances in the 'psychological face space'. The data indicate that there is a perceptual discontinuity of face identity as the face crosses over to the 'other side of the mean'. We consider these results in the context of face-space models of human face processing.