Composite Face Effect Resources

A new set of composite face stimuli

Contributed by Talia Retter and Bruno Rossion, October 2013

Following a review paper published in Visual Cognition (Rossion, 2013), we have created a new set of composite face stimuli, available for the scientific community.

There are 10 face identities and 5 composites per set -> 50 different images x 4 conditions (aligned, misaligned, regular size, 5 perc. size increase) -> 200 images total. These images are stored in two folders:

* Aligned composite face stimuli

* Misaligned composite face stimuli

READ ME file explains how the stimuli were made, how to use it to build your experiment, and to what the names of the files refer.

We have also built a set of "exagerated" composite face stimuli, i.e. stimuli for which the bottom halves were slightly increased or decreaded in height to make the illusion more salient. These stimuli should lead to bigger effects (Rossion, 2013: figure 43a) and they can be obtained here:

* Aligned composite face stimuli_exag

* Misaligned composite face stimuli_exag


These stimuli can only be used in research studies, and potentially in scientific publications/presentations. Please contact ( for any display of the stimuli in a scientific publication.

Rossion, B. (2013). The composite face illusion: a whole window into our understanding of holistic face perception. Visual Cognition, 21, 139-253.


Composite face experiment

An experiment to measure the composite face effect has been created, utilizing a subset of the stimuli from the set above (non-exagerated ones), and can be downloaded for use here. This experiment has been used in the following recent studies:

Retter, T.L. & Rossion, B. (2015). Global shape information increases but color information decreases the composite face effect. Perception, 44, 511–528. [PDF]

Rossion, B. & Retter, T.L. (2015). Holistic face perception: mind the gap ! Visual Cognition, 23, 379-398. [PDF]

E-PrimeE-Run file ; read me ; stimulus folder (note: e-run file must be placed in unzipped stimulus folder to run)

Stand-alone: Stand-alone Java version COMING SOON (note: Java Runtime (minimum version 1.7_45) must be installed on the computer; if not already installed, select your system below to download the corresponding Java Runtime:)