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Jessica Tardif, Ye Zhang, Daniel Fiset, Qiuju Cai, Canhuang Luo, Dan Sun, Sophie Tanguay, Amanda Estéphan, Frédéric Gosselin, Caroline Blais; Westerners and Easterners use different spatial frequencies for face recognition. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):169. doi: 10.1167/15.12.169.
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During face recognition, both Easterners and Westerners need information from the eyes and mouth to recognize faces (Caldara, Zhou, & Miellet, 2010). However, Easterners make fewer fixations to the eyes and mouth regions and more fixations to the nose region than Westerners (Blais et al., 2008; Miellet et al., 2012). These results suggest that Easterners extract more information in periphery of their retina and may rely more on lower spatial frequencies (SF). We used spatial frequency Bubbles (Willenbockel et al., 2010) to measure the SF useful for face recognition in Westerners (N=23; Canadians) and Easterners (N=27; Chinese). This method consists in creating filters that allow only random subsets of the SF contained in a face to be represented in the stimulus. On each trial (3050), such a randomly filtered face was presented, and participants recognized its identity (among eight identities of the same ethnicity, learned beforehand). Group classification images showing the SF tuning of Westerners and Easterners were obtained by performing a multiple regression on the SF sampled and the accuracy of the participants on each trial, separately for the Asian and the Caucasian faces. The SF significantly linked with performance were found using the Stat4CI (Chauvin et al., 2005; Zcrit=4.43; p< 0.001). For Westerners, a 2.75 octaves wide SF band peaking at 19.9 cycles per face (cpf) and a 2.53 octaves wide band peaking at 16.6 cpf were significant for Asian and Caucasian faces, respectively. For Easterners, a 3.98 octaves wide band peaking at 9.6 cpf and a 2.85 octaves wide band peaking at 11.1 cpf were significant for Asian and Caucasian faces, respectively. A 2-way ANOVA shows that Easterners’ peaks are significantly lower (p=.01). Our results confirm that Easterners rely more than Westerners on lower SF and use a wider range of SF, especially when recognizing Asian faces.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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