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Isabelle Boutet, Charles Collin, Jocelyn Faubert; Is there a relationship between the band of spatial frequencies critical for face recognition and configural encoding?. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):89. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/3.9.89.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Configural relations and a critical band of spatial frequencies (SF) in the middle range are particularly important for face recognition. We report the results of four experiments that examine the relationship between these two types of information. In Experiments 1, 2A and 2B, the face inversion effect (FIE) was used to probe configural face encoding. Recognition of upright and inverted faces and non-face objects was measured in four conditions: a no-filter condition, and three SF filtering conditions, low-, medium-, and high-frequency. We found significant FIE of comparable magnitude for all filtering conditions. An advantage for recognition of medium-frequency faces was observed in all three experiments. However, this effect was weaker when learn faces were filtered. There was a tendency for medium-frequency objects to be best recognized in Exps. 1 and 2A, and a clear advantage for that filter condition in Exp. 2B. Finally, a RT advantage for inverted faces and upright and inverted objects in the medium-frequency condition was observed in all three experiments. In Experiment 3, simultaneous discrimination of faces on the basis of either configural or featural modifications was measured under the same four conditions. Although the ability to discriminate configural modifications was superior in the medium-frequency condition, so was the ability to discriminate featural modifications. We conclude that the band of SF that is critical for face recognition does not contribute preferentially to configural encoding. Rather, a sufficient amount of overlapping information and contrast may be partially responsible for the medium frequency advantage for faces.
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