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Disrupting perceptual grouping of face parts impairs holistic face processing.

Curby KM, Goldstein RR, Blacker K - Atten Percept Psychophys (2013)

Bottom Line: Holistic processing of face, but not of nonface, stimuli was significantly reduced when the backgrounds were misaligned and of different colors, cues that discouraged grouping of the face halves into a cohesive unit (Exp. 1).This effect was sensitive to stimulus orientation at short (200 ms) but not at long (2,500 ms) encoding durations, consistent with the previously documented temporal properties of the holistic processing of upright and inverted faces (Exps. 2 and 3).These results suggest that grouping mechanisms, typically involved in the perception of objecthood more generally, might contribute in important ways to the holistic perception of faces.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. kim.curby@mq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
Face perception is widely believed to involve integration of facial features into a holistic perceptual unit, but the mechanisms underlying this integration are relatively unknown. We examined whether perceptual grouping cues influence a classic marker of holistic face perception, the "composite-face effect." Participants made same-different judgments about a cued part of sequentially presented chimeric faces, and holistic processing was indexed as the degree to which the task-irrelevant face halves impacted performance. Grouping was encouraged or discouraged by adjusting the backgrounds behind the face halves: Although the face halves were always aligned, their respective backgrounds could be misaligned and of different colors. Holistic processing of face, but not of nonface, stimuli was significantly reduced when the backgrounds were misaligned and of different colors, cues that discouraged grouping of the face halves into a cohesive unit (Exp. 1). This effect was sensitive to stimulus orientation at short (200 ms) but not at long (2,500 ms) encoding durations, consistent with the previously documented temporal properties of the holistic processing of upright and inverted faces (Exps. 2 and 3). These results suggest that grouping mechanisms, typically involved in the perception of objecthood more generally, might contribute in important ways to the holistic perception of faces.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Example car, inverted face, and upright face stimuli from the grouped (left column) and ungrouped (right column) conditions
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Fig1: Example car, inverted face, and upright face stimuli from the grouped (left column) and ungrouped (right column) conditions

Mentions: The stimuli were 20 grayscale front-view images of faces with neutral expressions, cropped to remove the hair and ears, and 20 grayscale, profile-view car images (sedans). Two stimulus versions of each object were created, one centered on a blue background and the other centered on a red background. Additional copies of the images were made in which the background, but not the face/car, was shifted to the left or the right (see Fig. 1 for sample stimuli). All of the images were then divided along the horizontal plane at the bridge of the nose (for faces) or just above the wheel cavity (for cars).Fig. 1


Disrupting perceptual grouping of face parts impairs holistic face processing.

Curby KM, Goldstein RR, Blacker K - Atten Percept Psychophys (2013)

Example car, inverted face, and upright face stimuli from the grouped (left column) and ungrouped (right column) conditions
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3824569&req=5

Fig1: Example car, inverted face, and upright face stimuli from the grouped (left column) and ungrouped (right column) conditions
Mentions: The stimuli were 20 grayscale front-view images of faces with neutral expressions, cropped to remove the hair and ears, and 20 grayscale, profile-view car images (sedans). Two stimulus versions of each object were created, one centered on a blue background and the other centered on a red background. Additional copies of the images were made in which the background, but not the face/car, was shifted to the left or the right (see Fig. 1 for sample stimuli). All of the images were then divided along the horizontal plane at the bridge of the nose (for faces) or just above the wheel cavity (for cars).Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Holistic processing of face, but not of nonface, stimuli was significantly reduced when the backgrounds were misaligned and of different colors, cues that discouraged grouping of the face halves into a cohesive unit (Exp. 1).This effect was sensitive to stimulus orientation at short (200 ms) but not at long (2,500 ms) encoding durations, consistent with the previously documented temporal properties of the holistic processing of upright and inverted faces (Exps. 2 and 3).These results suggest that grouping mechanisms, typically involved in the perception of objecthood more generally, might contribute in important ways to the holistic perception of faces.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Faculty of Human Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. kim.curby@mq.edu.au

ABSTRACT
Face perception is widely believed to involve integration of facial features into a holistic perceptual unit, but the mechanisms underlying this integration are relatively unknown. We examined whether perceptual grouping cues influence a classic marker of holistic face perception, the "composite-face effect." Participants made same-different judgments about a cued part of sequentially presented chimeric faces, and holistic processing was indexed as the degree to which the task-irrelevant face halves impacted performance. Grouping was encouraged or discouraged by adjusting the backgrounds behind the face halves: Although the face halves were always aligned, their respective backgrounds could be misaligned and of different colors. Holistic processing of face, but not of nonface, stimuli was significantly reduced when the backgrounds were misaligned and of different colors, cues that discouraged grouping of the face halves into a cohesive unit (Exp. 1). This effect was sensitive to stimulus orientation at short (200 ms) but not at long (2,500 ms) encoding durations, consistent with the previously documented temporal properties of the holistic processing of upright and inverted faces (Exps. 2 and 3). These results suggest that grouping mechanisms, typically involved in the perception of objecthood more generally, might contribute in important ways to the holistic perception of faces.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus