ERIC Number: EJ823535
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Why Does Selective Attention to Parts Fail in Face Processing?
Richler, Jennifer J.; Tanaka, James W.; Brown, Danielle D.; Gauthier, Isabel
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v34 n6 p1356-1368 Nov 2008
One hallmark of holistic face processing is an inability to selectively attend to 1 face part while ignoring information in another part. In 3 sequential matching experiments, the authors tested perceptual and decisional accounts of holistic processing by measuring congruency effects between cued and uncued composite face halves shown in spatially aligned or disjointed configurations. The authors found congruency effects when the top and bottom halves of the study face were spatially aligned, misaligned (Experiment 1), or adjacent to one another (Experiment 2). However, at test, congruency effects were reduced by misalignment and abolished for adjacent configurations. This suggests that manipulations at test are more influential than manipulations at study, consistent with a decisional account of holistic processing. When encoding demands for study and test faces were equated (Experiment 3), the authors observed effects of study configuration suggesting that, consistent with a perceptual explanation, encoding does influence the magnitude of holistic processing. Together, these results cannot be accounted for by current perceptual or decisional accounts of holistic processing and suggest the existence of an attention-dependent mechanism that can integrate spatially separated face parts.
Descriptors: Attention, Visual Perception, Cognitive Processes, Human Body, Psychological Studies, Spatial Ability
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A