ERIC Number: EJ778670
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-May
Reference Count: 0
Can Holistic Processing Be Learned for Inverted Faces?
Robbins, Rachel; McKone, Elinor
Cognition, v88 n1 p79-107 May 2003
The origin of "special" processing for upright faces has been a matter of ongoing debate. If it is due to generic expertise, as opposed to having some innate component, holistic processing should be learnable for stimuli other than upright faces. Here we assess inverted faces. We trained subjects to discriminate identical twins using up to 1100 exposures to each twin in different poses and images. In the upright orientation, twin discrimination was supported by holistic processing. Removal of a single face feature had no effect on performance, and a composite effect (Young, A. W., Hellawell, D., & Hay, D.C. (1987). Configurational information in face perception. "Perception" 16 (6), 747-759) was obtained. In the inverted orientation, however, above chance identification ability relied on (a) image specific learning, or (b) tiny local feature differences not noticed in the upright faces. The failure to learn holistic processing for inverted faces indicates that, in contrast to the situation for objects (Tarr, M.J., & Pinker, S. (1989). Mental rotation and orientation-dependence in shape recognition. "Cognitive Psychology" 21 (2), 233-282), orientation specificity of face processing is highly stable against practice.
Descriptors: Twins, Visual Perception, Cognitive Psychology, Identification (Psychology), Cognitive Processes, Human Body
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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