June 2007
Volume 7, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2007
Holistic face processing can be independent of gaze behavior: Evidence from the face composite effect
Author Affiliations
  • Adelaide de Heering
    Unite de Cognition et Developpement et Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium
  • Bruno Rossion
    Unite de Cognition et Developpement et Laboratoire de Neurophysiologie, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain la Neuve, Belgium
  • Chiara Turati
    Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Svilupo e della Socializzazione, Universita degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy
  • Francesca Simion
    Dipartimento di Psicologia dello Svilupo e della Socializzazione, Universita degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy
Journal of Vision June 2007, Vol.7, 502. doi:10.1167/7.9.502
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      Adelaide de Heering, Bruno Rossion, Chiara Turati, Francesca Simion; Holistic face processing can be independent of gaze behavior: Evidence from the face composite effect. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):502. doi: 10.1167/7.9.502.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

People tend to perceive identical top halves (i.e. above the nose) of two face stimuli as being different when they are aligned with distinct bottom halves. This face composite illusion has been demonstrated almost 20 years ago (Young et al., 1987), and is generally considered as the most compelling evidence that facial features are integrated into a holistic representation. Here we recorded eye movements during the face composite effect, i.e. when the top and the bottom parts of a composite face stimulus are integrated into a single holistic face representation. The behavioral results showed a strong face composite effect when subjects maintained fixation to the top part of the face stimulus. Fixation sites and eye movements were virtually identical when the top and bottom parts were aligned (composite illusion) or misaligned (no illusion), indicating that holistic face processing can be independent of gaze behavior. These findings reinforce the view that holistic representations of individual faces can be extracted early on from low spatial frequency analysis, independently of overt attention.

de Heering, A. Rossion, B. Turati, C. Simion, F. (2007). Holistic face processing can be independent of gaze behavior: Evidence from the face composite effect [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 7(9):502, 502a, http://journalofvision.org/7/9/502/, doi:10.1167/7.9.502.
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