Face space

Face space is a theoretical idea in psychology such that it is a multidimensional space in which recognizable faces are stored. The representation of faces within this space are according to invariant features of the face itself.[1] However, recently was theoretically demonstrated that faces can be stored in the face space according to their dynamic features as well, and that in this case the resulting space exhibits a twofold structure.[2]

The face space is useful for accounting various aspects of face recognition including distinctiveness, the own race bias [3] and caricature effects.[4]

The face space framework has been cited in almost 1000 scientific articles and it was recently revisited in a special edition of the journal Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology featuring the top 10 ideas that have appeared in the journal's pages.[5]


  1. ^ Valentine, T. (1991). A unified account of the effects of distinctiveness, inversion, and race in face recognition. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 43(2), 161-204.
  2. ^ Vitale, J., & Johnston, B., & Williams, M. (2016). The face-space duality hypothesis: a computational model. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society.
  3. ^ Valentine, T., & Endo, M. (1992). Towards an exemplar model of face processing: The effects of race and distinctiveness. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 44(4), 671-703.
  4. ^ Lewis, M. (2004). Face‐space‐R: Towards a unified account of face recognition. Visual Cognition, 11(1), 29-69.
  5. ^ Valentine, T., Lewis, M. B., & Hills, P. J. (2015). Face-space: A unifying concept in face recognition research. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, (ahead-of-print), 1-24.