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Zaifeng Gao, Anastasia Flevaris, Lynn Robertson, Shlomo Bentin; Priming global and local processing of composite faces: Revisiting the processing-bias effect on face perception. Journal of Vision 2011;11(11):674. doi: 10.1167/11.11.674.
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We used the composite-face illusion and Navon-stimuli to determine the consequences of priming local or global processing on face recognition. The composite-face illusion is observed in face-matching tasks and reflects the difficulty to ignore one half (e.g., bottom) of a face when the two aligned halves are incongruent. In each trial participants first responded to the global or local level of two Navon-stimuli and then matched the upper halves of two face-composites presented sequentially. Global processing of Navon-stimuli increased the illusion compared to local processing, as evidenced by larger reduction in sensitivity in the incongruent relative to congruent face-composites. Importantly, although incongruence induced a bias towards “Different” responses overall, this bias was not modulated by priming. We conclude that the level of processing the prime influenced the processing of composite-faces such that global processing of Navon-stimuli augmented holistic processing of the faces relative to local processing.
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