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Brenda Stoesz, Lorna Jakobsona; Reduced Interference Between Identity and Expression Processing With Dynamic Faces. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):867. doi: 10.1167/13.9.867.
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Facial motion cues facilitate identity and expression processing (Pilz et al., 2006). To explore the possible basis of this dynamic advantage, we used Garner’s selective attention paradigm (Garner, 1976) to determine whether adding dynamic cues alters the way that identity and expression processing interact, and whether this varies depending on the age of the viewer. Adults (ages 18-26), adolescents (ages 12-13), and children (ages 6-7) made speeded judgments of the expression (or identity) of static and dynamic faces while identity (or expression) was either held constant (baseline block) or varied (orthogonal block). Accuracy was high (>90%) for all three age groups. We calculated corrected Garner interference scores by determining the percent change from baseline RT seen in the orthogonal block. A 2 (Task: Expression, Identity) X 2 (Mode: Static, Dynamic) X 3 (Age Group: Adult, Adolescent, Child) ANOVA conducted on these scores revealed that interference was stronger in the Expression than in the Identity task, and with static compared to dynamic faces. However, follow-up tests conducted on the significant Task X Mode interaction showed that, while the addition of dynamic cues led to a significant reduction in Garner interference for both tasks, the effect was much more dramatic for the Expression task. Although young children took significantly longer than adolescents or adults to make their judgments, no age-related differences in Garner interference were observed. Reductions in interference after the introduction of dynamic cues might arise if viewers focus more selectively on specific facial features, or if they integrate multiple cues more effectively, when viewing moving as opposed to static faces. Both of these ideas hold merit and, indeed, it is possible that individual differences in processing style determine which strategy a viewer will adopt. These results highlight the importance of using naturalistic, dynamic stimuli in studies of face processing.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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