Caroline Michel

PhD 2007; postdoctoral researcher




University of Louvain (UCL)
Institute of research in Psychology (IPSY)  
Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS)
10, Place du Cardinal Mercier
1348 Louvain-La-Neuve \ Belgium

Tel : +32 10 47 
Fax: + 32 10 47 

Email :




Research Interests

My main research interest is in understanding the so-called “other-race effect” in the face recognition literature : the fact that we are better at recognizing faces of our own race than faces from another race (‘they all look alike’). To address this question, I have been carrying out behavioural experiments testing whether there is a differential perceptual encoding of same-race and other-race faces. Our studies suggest that we process other-race faces less holistically (Michel et al., 2006a; 2006b) than same-race faces, and future work will aim at understanding why this is the case, and what other factors (shape and surface information on faces) lead to a differential coding of faces of different races. I am also interested in clarifying the perceptual mechanisms responsible for the other-race effect at the neural level, using event-related potentials (ERPs) and neuroimaging (fMRI).



Michel, C., Rossion, B., Bülthoff, I, Hayward, W., Vuong, Q. (2013). The contribution of shape and surface information in the other-race face effect. Visual Cognition, 21, 1202-1223. [PDF]

Michel, C., Corneille, O., Rossion, B. (2010). Holistic face encoding is modulated by perceived face race: evidence from perceptual adaptation. Visual Cognition, 18, 434-455. [PDF]

Michel, C., Corneille, O., Rossion, B. (2007). Race categorization modulates holistic encoding. Cognitive Science, 31, 911-924. [PDF]

Michel, C., Caldara, R., Rossion, B. (2006). Same-race faces are perceived more holistically than other-race faces. Visual Cognition, 14, 55-73. [PDF] [slideshow summary]

Michel, C., Rossion, B., Han, J., Chung, C-S., Caldara, R. (2006). Holistic processing is finely tuned for faces of our own race. Psychological Science, 17, 608-615. [PDF] [slideshow summary]