A GENERAL RECOGNITION THEORY STUDY OF RACE ADAPTATION

  • Leslie M. Blaha
  • Noah H. Silbert
  • James T. Townsend

Abstract

Studies of race aftereffects show that adaptation biases responses away from an adapting stimulus. However, it remains unclear if shifts in response frequencies result from changes in perceptual representations or in decisional mechanisms supporting race classification. General Recognition Theory (GRT) provides a modeling framework within which we investigated adaptation-induced changes on perceptual and decisional mechanisms. In a series of experiments, we replicated previous findings that adaptation shifts perceived features away from the adapting stimulus and showed similar effects for skin tone adaptation. GRT modeling was based on five complete-identification tasks. Baseline models derived from the no-adaptation condition found positive correlations between features and skin tone within and across stimuli. Adaptation-induced changes in representation from four adaptation conditions revealed shifts in perceptual representations away from adapting stimuli, variability in the within-stimulus correlations, and shifts in the decision bounds toward the adapting stimulus.

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