Limits...
Misaligned and Polarity-Reversed Faces Determine Face-specific Capacity Limits

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ABSTRACT

Previous research using flanker paradigms suggests that peripheral distracter faces are automatically processed when participants have to classify a single central familiar target face. These distracter interference effects disappear when the central task contains additional anonymous (non-target) faces that load the search for the face target, but not when the central task contains additional non-face stimuli, suggesting there are face-specific capacity limits in visual processing. Here we tested whether manipulating the format of non-target faces in the search task affected face-specific capacity limits. Experiment 1 replicated earlier findings that a distracter face is processed even in high load conditions when participants looked for a target name of a famous person among additional names (non-targets) in a central search array. Two further experiments show that when targets and non-targets were faces (instead of names), however, distracter interference was eliminated under high load—adding non-target faces to the search array exhausted processing capacity for peripheral faces. The novel finding was that replacing non-target faces with images that consisted of two horizontally misaligned face-parts reduced distracter processing. Similar results were found when the polarity of a non-target face image was reversed. These results indicate that face-specific capacity limits are not determined by the configural properties of face processing, but by face parts.

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Examples of displays in Experiment 1. Shown is a congruent display with a relevant set size of three items (left panel) or six items (right panel; see caption of Figure 3 for copyright information on the face images).
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Figure 1: Examples of displays in Experiment 1. Shown is a congruent display with a relevant set size of three items (left panel) or six items (right panel; see caption of Figure 3 for copyright information on the face images).

Mentions: Experiment 1 employed a visual search and binary classification task similar to that first used by Lavie et al. (2003) and which was replicated in Thoma and Lavie (2013; Experiment 2). In each trial, participants classified the name of a famous male politician or film star in displays of either low (target name plus two non-target name-like letter strings) or high (target name plus five non-target name-like letter strings) perceptual load. In all conditions, the face of a famous politician or film star was presented in the periphery (see Figure 1). The key measure of interest was the effect of the congruency between the target name and the distracter face on response latencies and accuracy, as a function of perceptual load.


Misaligned and Polarity-Reversed Faces Determine Face-specific Capacity Limits
Examples of displays in Experiment 1. Shown is a congruent display with a relevant set size of three items (left panel) or six items (right panel; see caption of Figure 3 for copyright information on the face images).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037134&req=5

Figure 1: Examples of displays in Experiment 1. Shown is a congruent display with a relevant set size of three items (left panel) or six items (right panel; see caption of Figure 3 for copyright information on the face images).
Mentions: Experiment 1 employed a visual search and binary classification task similar to that first used by Lavie et al. (2003) and which was replicated in Thoma and Lavie (2013; Experiment 2). In each trial, participants classified the name of a famous male politician or film star in displays of either low (target name plus two non-target name-like letter strings) or high (target name plus five non-target name-like letter strings) perceptual load. In all conditions, the face of a famous politician or film star was presented in the periphery (see Figure 1). The key measure of interest was the effect of the congruency between the target name and the distracter face on response latencies and accuracy, as a function of perceptual load.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Previous research using flanker paradigms suggests that peripheral distracter faces are automatically processed when participants have to classify a single central familiar target face. These distracter interference effects disappear when the central task contains additional anonymous (non-target) faces that load the search for the face target, but not when the central task contains additional non-face stimuli, suggesting there are face-specific capacity limits in visual processing. Here we tested whether manipulating the format of non-target faces in the search task affected face-specific capacity limits. Experiment 1 replicated earlier findings that a distracter face is processed even in high load conditions when participants looked for a target name of a famous person among additional names (non-targets) in a central search array. Two further experiments show that when targets and non-targets were faces (instead of names), however, distracter interference was eliminated under high load—adding non-target faces to the search array exhausted processing capacity for peripheral faces. The novel finding was that replacing non-target faces with images that consisted of two horizontally misaligned face-parts reduced distracter processing. Similar results were found when the polarity of a non-target face image was reversed. These results indicate that face-specific capacity limits are not determined by the configural properties of face processing, but by face parts.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus