Contact

Dr. Isabelle Bülthoff

Adresse: Max-Planck-Ring 8
72076 Tübingen
Raum Nummer: 001.1
Tel.: 07071 601 611
Fax: 07071 601 616
E-Mail: isabelle.buelthoff

 

Bild von Bülthoff, Isabelle, Dr.

Isabelle Bülthoff

Position: Projektleiter  Abteilung: Bülthoff

I lead the group Recognition and Categorization of the department Human Perception, Cognition and Action.

 

My research concerns human face recognition. To that end, I use primarily psychophysical methods, eye-tracking, immersive virtual environments and face images derived from our face database.

 

Faces are the most fascinating objects for human beings. We are never tired of looking at faces, a fact used heavily by advertising companies. In the course of our childhood, we develop a remarkable expertise at deciphering the most subtle aspects of a face, not only do we recognize identity or sex, but we also notice, for example, signs of tiredness, sadness or age.

 

Main projects:

While we are expert in face recognition in general, we process and retrieve information about familiar and unfamiliar faces differently. We use preferably the inner features for recognizing familiar faces, while for unfamiliar faces we pay more attention to and keep in memory more likely extra-facial information like hairdo, glasses or beards. In one project, I investigate the recognition of personally familiar faces, as they are the faces that we remember best. With these faces, we can test how precisely facial information related to sex, race or identity is memorized. I concentrate on those aspects of faces, as we use those attributes most osten to describe or classify faces. Our results give insight about how very familiar faces are represented in memory. They reveal that facial information regarding sex and race are represented only very coarsely in memory, while those linked to identity are encoded very precisely.

 

Another line of study (in collaboration with the Space and Body Perception group) uses the advantages of virtual reality to investigate face recognition under more natural conditions. Most studies so far tested isolated static faces. In our project, observers moved physically in a virtual room to look at the faces of life-size avatars. We compared the recognition performance of this active group to that of other groups with different learning conditions. Overall, the active group performed better than the other groups.

 

In collaboration with Mintao Zhao, and other colleagues, additional projects investigate, among others, holistic processing of faces, the other-race effect and the influence of voices on face recognition.

 

Projects in collaboration with PhD students of the Recognition and Categorisation group presently include:

Other projects:

  • What gives a face its ethnicity? We can quickly and easily judge faces in terms of their ethnicity. In a series of studies, we investigate whether one or another part of the face (eyes, mouth…) has more influence on perceived ethnicity of that face. This work is done in collaboration with Korea University (BioCyb Lab in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering) and involves participants of different cultural background and expertise in terms of face ethnicities.
  • Influence of body size on face recognition. The concept of “Embodied Cognition” implies that our own bodies, the way we act with our bodies, and the way our bodies “fit” into the environment, should all have important implications for our mental representation of the world. Thus the question arises whether we represent and/or process faces in a different way depending on our body size. This work is done in collaboration with Ian Thornton (University of Malta, Malta) and Betty Tesch (Mohler).

Current project in more details:

Personally familiar faces: Higher precision of memory for idiosyncratic than for sex or race facial information

Introduction

We process and retrieve information about familiar and unfamiliar faces differently. We use preferably the inner features for recognizing familiar faces, while for unfamiliar faces we keep in memory more likely extra-facial information like hairdo, glasses or beards1. Testing memory of very familiar faces allows us to test how precisely different types of facial information are memorized.

Goals

We investigate whether facial information related to either sex, race or identity might be remembered more precisely than the others. We concentrate on those aspects, as they represent some attributes that we use most commonly to describe or classify faces. The results will give insight about how very familiar faces are represented.

Methods

The faces of members of the department were used as personally familiar test faces and the members of the department were our participants. The veridical faces were manipulated2 in increasing manner in four different ways: they were (1) morphed with other identities, (2) caricatured and anti-caricatured, (3) made more feminine looking and more masculine looking and (4) made more Caucasian looking and more Asian looking. In each test trial, a veridical face was shown with its distracters (the faces obtained with one of the four manipulations). Participants had to find the veridical face among the distracters.

Initial results

Figure 1 shows that participants chose the veridical face most frequently when the distracters were identity morphs, while this was not the case for the other manipulations.

Initial conclusion

Our results reveal that for personally familiar faces, their facial information regarding sex and race are represented only very coarsely in memory, while those linked to identity are encoded very precisely.

Figure 1

Left: Mean choice frequency for veridical faces and their identity morphs. Right: Mean choice frequency for veridical faces and their race morphs. Stars denote values differing significantly from chance level.

References

1. Johnston, R. A., & Edmonds, A. J. (2009). Familiar and unfamiliar face recognition: A review. Memory, 17(5), 577–596.

2. Blanz, V., & Vetter, T. (1999). A morphable model for the synthesis of 3D faces. In Proceedings of the 26th annual conference on Computer graphics and interactive techniques - SIGGRAPH ’99 (pp. 187–194). New York, New York, USA: ACM Press.

 Education

 

1979 Licence ès Sciences naturelles (equivalent to MA in natural Sciences in the US), University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

1983 Ph.D in Zoology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Doctoral Dissertation accomplished at the Max-Planck institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.

 

 

Academic and Research Experience

 

1977-1978            Teaching assistant in Zoology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

 

1979-1983            Doctoral work. Doctoral Dissertation: “Visual mutants  of Drosophila melanogaster, functional neuroanatomical mapping of nervous activity by 3H-Deoxyglucose method”. Max-Planck institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany

 

1983-1885            Postdoctoral fellow, Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen, Germany, funded by the Swiss Research Foundation

 

1986-1991            Child rearing period (2 children)

 

1991-1993            Research assistant, Neuroscience Department, (Prof. Barry Connors), Brown University, RI, USA       

 

Since 09/1993       Researcher at the Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen, Germany

 

Since 01/2009       Project leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Tübingen, Germany

 

 

Major Research Interests

 

Investigating the mechanisms underlying face recognition.  At present my focus is on the following themes:

  • The interplay between gender and identity information in face recognition
  • The impact of voice distinctiveness on face recognition
  • The influence of context and task on face recognition
  • Crosscultural differences in face and object recognition
  • The role of idiosyncratic viewing history in face recognition

Präferenzen: 
Referenzen pro Seite: Jahr: Medium:

  
Zeige Zusammenfassung

Artikel (37):

Jung W, Bülthoff I und Armann RGM (November-2017) The contribution of foveal and peripheral visual information to ensemble representation of face race Journal of Vision 17(13:11) 1-12.
Fademrecht L, Bülthoff I, Barraclough N und de la Rosa S (Oktober-2017) Action Adaptation in a crowded environment i-Perception . akzeptiert
Zhao M und Bülthoff I (Juli-2017) Holistic Processing of Static and Moving Faces Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 43(7) 1020-1035.
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Bülthoff I, Mohler BJ und Thornton IM (Juli-2017) Face recognition of full-bodied avatars by active observers in a virtual environment Vision Research . eingereicht
Dobs K, Schultz J, Bülthoff I und Gardner JL (Juli-2017) Task-dependent enhancement of facial expression and identity representations in human cortex NeuroImage . eingereicht
Fademrecht L, Bülthoff I und de la Rosa S (Juni-2017) Action recognition is viewpoint-dependent in the visual periphery Vision Research 135 10–15.
Bülthoff I und Newell FN (März-2017) Crossmodal priming of unfamiliar faces supports early interactions between voices and faces in person perception Visual Cognition Epub ahead.
Dobs K, Bülthoff I und Schultz J (September-2016) Identity information content depends on the type of facial movement Scientific Reports 6(34301) 1-9.
Zhao M, Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I (April-2016) A shape-based account for holistic face processing Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 42(4) 584-597.
Fademrecht L, Bülthoff I und de la Rosa S (Februar-2016) Action recognition in the visual periphery Journal of Vision 16(3:33) 1-14.
Zhao M, Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I (Februar-2016) Beyond Faces and Expertise: Facelike Holistic Processing of Nonface Objects in the Absence of Expertise Psychological Science 27(2) 213-222.
Dahl CD, Rasch MJ, Bülthoff I und Cheng C-C (Februar-2016) Integration or separation in the processing of facial properties: a computational view Scientific Reports 6(20247) 1-9.
Esins J, Schultz J, Stemper C, Kennerknecht I und Bülthoff I (Januar-2016) Face Perception and Test Reliabilities in Congenital Prosopagnosia in Seven Tests i-Perception 7(1) 1-37.
Bülthoff I und Newell FN (April-2015) Distinctive voices enhance the visual recognition of unfamiliar faces Cognition 137 9–21.
Zhao M, Hayward WG und Bülthoff I (Dezember-2014) Holistic processing, contact, and the other-race effect in face recognition Vision Research 105 61–69.
Lee I-S, Lee A-R, Lee H, Park H-J, Chung S-Y, Wallraven C, Bülthoff I und Chae Y (Dezember-2014) Psychological distress and attentional bias toward acne lesions in patients with acne Psychology, Health & Medicine 19(6) 680-686.
Esins J, Schultz J, Wallraven C und Bülthoff I (September-2014) Do congenital prosopagnosia and the other-race effect affect the same face recognition mechanisms? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8(759) 1-14.
Esins J, Schultz J, Bülthoff I und Kennerknecht I (September-2014) Galactose uncovers face recognition and mental images in congenital prosopagnosia: The first case report Nutritional Neuroscience 17(5) 239-240.
Zhao M, Hayward WG und Bülthoff I (August-2014) Face format at encoding affects the other-race effect in face memory Journal of Vision 14(9:6) 1-13.
Brielmann AA, Bülthoff I und Armann R (Juli-2014) Looking at faces from different angles: Europeans fixate different features in Asian and Caucasian faces Vision Research 100 105–112.
Dobs K, Bülthoff I, Breidt M, Vuong QC, Curio C und Schultz J (Juli-2014) Quantifying human sensitivity to spatio-temporal information in dynamic faces Vision Research 100 78–87.
Michel C, Rossion B, Bülthoff I, Hayward WG und Vuong QC (Dezember-2013) The contribution of shape and surface information in the other-race face effect Visual Cognition 21(9-10) 1202-1223.
Zhao M und Bülthoff I (Oktober-2013) The other-race effect in face recognition is sensitive to face format at encoding Visual Cognition 21(6) 722-725.
Gaissert N, Waterkamp S, Fleming RW und Bülthoff I (August-2012) Haptic Categorical Perception of Shape PLoS One 7(8) 1-7.
Bülthoff I (Juli-2012) Review: L'empreinte Des Sens Perception 41(7) 881-882.
Armann R und Bülthoff I (Juni-2012) Male and female faces are only perceived categorically when linked to familiar identities – And when in doubt, he is a male Vision Research 63 69–80.
Armann R und Bülthoff I (Juli-2009) Gaze behavior in face comparison: The roles of sex, task, and symmetry Attention, Perception and Psychophysics 71(5) 1107-1126.
Bülthoff I und Newell F (Oktober-2004) Categorical perception of sex occurs in familiar but not unfamiliar faces. Visual Cognition 11(7) 823-855.
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Edelman S, Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I (Januar-1999) Effects of parametric manipulation of inter-stimulus similarity on 3D object categorization Spatial Vision 12(1) 107-123.
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Bülthoff I, Bülthoff HH und Sinha P (Juli-1998) Top-down influences on stereoscopic depth-perception Nature Neuroscience 1(3) 254-257.
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Kersten D, Knill DC, Mamassian P und Bülthoff I (Januar-1996) Illusory motion from shadows Nature 379(6560) 31.
Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I (März-1987) GABA-antagonist inverts movement and object detection in flies Brain Research 407(1) 152-158.
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Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I (Februar-1987) Combining Neuropharmacology and Behavior to Study Motion Detection in Flies Biological Cybernetics 55(5) 313-320.
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Bülthoff I (März-1986) Deoxyglucose mapping of nervous activity induced in Drosophila brain by visual movement. 3. Outer rhabdomeres absent JK84, small optics lobes KS58 and no object fixation EB12, visual mutants. Journal of Comparative Physiology 158(2) 195-202.
Rodrigues V und Bülthoff I (Mai-1985) Freeze-substitution of Drososphila heads for subsequent 3H-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography Journal of Neuroscience Methods 13(3-4) 183-190.
Bülthoff I und Buchner E (Januar-1985) Deoxyglucose mapping of nervous activity induced in Drosophila brain by visual movement. 2. Optomotor blind H31 and lobula plate-less N684 visual mutants. Journal of Comparative Physiology 156(1) 25-34.
Buchner E, Buchner S und Bülthoff I (Juli-1984) Deoxyglucose mapping of nervous activity induced in Drosophila brain by visual movement. 1. Wildtype Journal of Comparative Physiology 155(4) 471-483.

Beiträge zu Tagungsbänden (2):

Pavlova MA, Sokolov AN und Bülthoff I (August-1998) Prime-orientation dependence in detection of camouflaged biological motion In: Fechner Day 98, , 14th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics, International Society for Psychology, Quebec, Canada, 314-319.
Pavlova MA, Sokolov AN und Bülthoff I (Juli-1998) Recovery of a priori known structure from biological motion In: Advances in Perception-Action Coupling, , Fifth European Workshop on Ecological Psychology (EWEP 5), Editions EDK, Paris, France, 64-68.

Beiträge zu Büchern (7):

Bülthoff I, Armann RGM, Lee RK und Bülthoff HH: The Other-Race Effect Revisited: No Effect for Faces Varying in Race Only, 153-165. In: Recent Progress in Brain and Cognitive Engineering, (Ed) S.-W. Lee, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, (2015).
Bülthoff I und Bülthoff HH: Objekterkennung, 1196. In: Dorsch: Lexikon der Psychologie, (Ed) A. Wirtz, Huber, Bern, Switzerland, (2014).
Bülthoff I: Recognition, 863-864. In: Encyclopedia of Perception, (Ed) E.B. Goldstein, Sage, Los Angeles, CA, USA, (2010).
Bülthoff I und Newell FN: The role of familiarity in the recognition of static and dynamic objects, 315-325. In: Visual Perception Part 1: Fundamentals of vision: Low and Mid-level processes in perception, (Ed) S. Martinez-Conde, Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands, (Oktober-2006).
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Bülthoff I und Bülthoff HH: Objektwahrnehmung, 165-172. In: Handbuch der Allgemeinen Psychologie: Kognition, (Ed) J. Funke, Hogrefe, Göttingen, Germany, (2006).
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Bülthoff I und Bülthoff HH: Image-Based Recognition of Biological Motion, Scenes, and Objects, 146-172. In: Perception of Faces, Objects, and Scenes: Analytic and Holistic Processes, (Ed) M.A. Peterson, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA, (2003).
Nicod I: Mapping nervous activity in visual mutants of Drosophila melanogaster with the deoxyglucose method, 171-175. In: La vision chez les invertébrés, (Ed) P. Clement, Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France, (1984).

Technische Berichte (3):

Bülthoff I und Newell FN: Categorical perception of gender: No evidence for unfamiliar faces, 094, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, (Oktober-2005).
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Bülthoff I, Bülthoff HH und Sinha P: View-based representations for dynamic 3D object recognition, 47, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, (Februar-1997).
Edelman S, Bülthoff HH und Bülthoff I: Features of the representation space for 3D objects, 40, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany, (September-1996).
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Poster (84):

Foster C, Zhao M, Romero J, Black M, Mohler BJ, Bartels A und Bülthoff I (August-31-2017): Decoding categories shared by the face and body, 40th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2017), Berlin, Germany.
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Last updated: Montag, 22.05.2017