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ERIC Number: EJ927413
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Perceptual and Decisional Factors Influencing the Discrimination of Inversion in the Thatcher Illusion
Cornes, Katherine; Donnelly, Nick; Godwin, Hayward; Wenger, Michael J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v37 n3 p645-668 Jun 2011
The Thatcher illusion (Thompson, 1980) is considered to be a prototypical illustration of the notion that face perception is dependent on configural processes and representations. We explored this idea by examining the relative contributions of perceptual and decisional processes to the ability of observers to identify the orientation of two classes of forms--faces and churches--and a set of their component features. Observers were presented with upright and inverted images of faces and churches in which the components (eyes, mouth, windows, doors) were presented either upright or inverted. Observers first rated the subjective grotesqueness of all of the images and then performed a complete identification task in which they had to identify the orientation of the overall form and the orientation of each of the interior features. Grotesqueness ratings for both classes of image showed the standard modulation of rated grotesqueness as a function of orientation. The complete identification results revealed violations of both perceptual and decisional separability but failed to reveal any violations of within-stimulus (perceptual) independence. In addition, exploration of a simple bivariate Gaussian signal detection model of the relationship between identification performance and judged grotesqueness suggests that within-stimulus violations of perceptual independence on their own are insufficient for producing the illusion. This lack of evidence for within-stimulus configurality suggests the need for a critical reevaluation of the role of configural processing in the Thatcher illusion. (Contains 13 figures, 7 tables, and 12 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A