Categorization training changes the visual representation of face identity
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Description: Previous research suggests that learning to categorize faces along a new dimension changes the perceptual representation of that dimension, but little is known about how the representation of specific face identities changes after such category learning. Here, we trained participants to categorize faces that varied along two morphing dimensions. One dimension was relevant to the categorization task and the other was irrelevant. We used classification images to estimate the internal templates used to identify the two faces at the extremes of the relevant dimension, both before and after training, and at two different levels of the irrelevant dimension. Categorization training changed the internal templates used for face identification, even though identification and categorization tasks impose different demands on the observers. After categorization training, the internal templates became more invariant across changes in the irrelevant dimension. These results suggest that the representation of face identity can be modified by categorization experience.