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Seeing faces as objects: no face inversion effect with geometrical discrimination.

Pallett PM, MacLeod DI - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Bottom Line: Yet it does not interfere with the ability to make precise estimates of facial feature distances.The results clearly showed that geometrical face discrimination is not subject to the traditional face inversion effect and did not show a benefit for natural faces.Based on these counterintuitive results, we suggest that participants used analytical processing to do the discrimination task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, 6207 Moore Hall, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. pamela.m.pallett@dartmouth.edu

ABSTRACT
Inversion dramatically impairs face perception, recognition, and discrimination. Yet it does not interfere with the ability to make precise estimates of facial feature distances. To investigate this discontinuity between facial feature distance estimation and general perception and recognition, we assessed the effect of inversion on the discrimination of differences in facial compression and elongation or expansion using geometrically distorted faces. The results clearly showed that geometrical face discrimination is not subject to the traditional face inversion effect and did not show a benefit for natural faces. Although discrimination thresholds were not affected by inversion, response times to the distance judgments were faster with inversion, especially when the inverted faces contained natural configurations. Based on these counterintuitive results, we suggest that participants used analytical processing to do the discrimination task. Moreover, we suggest that the depth with which a face is holistically encoded depends on the nature of the task, face orientation, and similarity between a face and the prototypical face template.

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Experiment 1 stimuli. a The contour of displacement followed by the morphing algorithm. b Reference faces produced by the morphing algorithm described in Experiment 1
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Fig1: Experiment 1 stimuli. a The contour of displacement followed by the morphing algorithm. b Reference faces produced by the morphing algorithm described in Experiment 1

Mentions: Experiment 1 assessed individual sensitivity to differences in center-compression and center-expansion: a manipulation that primarily altered the distance between the eyes. These faces are similar to those used by Webster and MacLin (1999) and Rhodes, Jeffery, Watson, Clifford, and Nakayama (2003) and are displayed in Fig. 1. We tested whether the perception of differences in interocular distance is better in upright rather than inverted faces. Since contrast-negation impairs the discrimination of differences in facial feature distances (Kemp et al. 1990), we also presented contrast-negated faces. Participants viewed a reference face and used the method of adjustment to make a comparison face just-noticeably more compressed or more expanded.Fig. 1


Seeing faces as objects: no face inversion effect with geometrical discrimination.

Pallett PM, MacLeod DI - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Experiment 1 stimuli. a The contour of displacement followed by the morphing algorithm. b Reference faces produced by the morphing algorithm described in Experiment 1
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3037484&req=5

Fig1: Experiment 1 stimuli. a The contour of displacement followed by the morphing algorithm. b Reference faces produced by the morphing algorithm described in Experiment 1
Mentions: Experiment 1 assessed individual sensitivity to differences in center-compression and center-expansion: a manipulation that primarily altered the distance between the eyes. These faces are similar to those used by Webster and MacLin (1999) and Rhodes, Jeffery, Watson, Clifford, and Nakayama (2003) and are displayed in Fig. 1. We tested whether the perception of differences in interocular distance is better in upright rather than inverted faces. Since contrast-negation impairs the discrimination of differences in facial feature distances (Kemp et al. 1990), we also presented contrast-negated faces. Participants viewed a reference face and used the method of adjustment to make a comparison face just-noticeably more compressed or more expanded.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Yet it does not interfere with the ability to make precise estimates of facial feature distances.The results clearly showed that geometrical face discrimination is not subject to the traditional face inversion effect and did not show a benefit for natural faces.Based on these counterintuitive results, we suggest that participants used analytical processing to do the discrimination task.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College, 6207 Moore Hall, Hanover, NH 03755, USA. pamela.m.pallett@dartmouth.edu

ABSTRACT
Inversion dramatically impairs face perception, recognition, and discrimination. Yet it does not interfere with the ability to make precise estimates of facial feature distances. To investigate this discontinuity between facial feature distance estimation and general perception and recognition, we assessed the effect of inversion on the discrimination of differences in facial compression and elongation or expansion using geometrically distorted faces. The results clearly showed that geometrical face discrimination is not subject to the traditional face inversion effect and did not show a benefit for natural faces. Although discrimination thresholds were not affected by inversion, response times to the distance judgments were faster with inversion, especially when the inverted faces contained natural configurations. Based on these counterintuitive results, we suggest that participants used analytical processing to do the discrimination task. Moreover, we suggest that the depth with which a face is holistically encoded depends on the nature of the task, face orientation, and similarity between a face and the prototypical face template.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus