July 2013
Volume 13, Issue 9
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2013
Contrast negation supports the importance of the eye region for holistic representations of facial identity
Author Affiliations
  • Mladen Sormaz
    Department of Psychology, University of York, UK
  • Timothy Andrews
    Department of Psychology, University of York, UK
  • Andrew Young
    Department of Psychology, University of York, UK
Journal of Vision July 2013, Vol.13, 97. doi:10.1167/13.9.97
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      Mladen Sormaz, Timothy Andrews, Andrew Young; Contrast negation supports the importance of the eye region for holistic representations of facial identity. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):97. doi: 10.1167/13.9.97.

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

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Abstract

Reversing the luminance values of a face (contrast negation) is known to disrupt recognition. However, the effects of contrast negation are attenuated in chimeric images, in which the eye region is returned to positive contrast (Gilad, Meng and Sinha, 2009). Here, we describe 4 experiments probing the importance of the eye region for the representation of facial identity. In Experiment 1, we asked whether the chimeric benefit is specific to the eye region. Our results show that chimeric faces in which only the forehead, nose or mouth regions are returned to positive contrast do not significantly improve recognition. In Experiment 2, we confirm that positive contrast eyes alone are not sufficient for the improved face recognition of chimeric images. Rather, it is the integration of information from the positive contrast eye region and the surrounding negative contrast face that is essential for the chimeric benefit. In Experiment 3, we demonstrate that the chimeric benefit is dependent on a holistic representation of the facial features. Finally, in Experiment 4, we show that the positive contrast eye region needs to match the identity of the negative contrast region of the image for the chimeric benefit to occur. Together, these results show the importance of the eye region for holistic representations of facial identity.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013

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