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Cognition can affect perception: Restating the evidence of a top-down effect

  • Daniel T. Levin (a1), Lewis J. Baker (a1) and Mahzarin R. Banaji (a2)


We argue that Firestone & Scholl (F&S) provide worthwhile recommendations but that their critique of research by Levin and Banaji (2006) is unfounded. In addition, we argue that F&S apply unjustified level of skepticism about top-down effects relative to other broad hypotheses about the sources of perceptual intelligence.



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Baker, L. J. & Levin, D. T. (2016) The face-race lightness illusion is not driven by low-level stimulus properties: An empirical reply to Firestone & Scholl (2014). Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. doi:10.3758/s13423-016-1048-z
Firestone, C. & Scholl, B. J. (2015a) Can you experience top-down effects on perception? The case of race categories and perceived lightness. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 22:694700.
Levin, D. T. & Banaji, M. R. (2006) Distortions in the perceived lightness of faces: The role of race categories. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 135:501–12.


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