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Jeounghoon Kim, Chobok Kim, Seong-Sill Moon, Hajung Jeon; A single recognition system for faces and objects in expertise-based experiments using synthetic stimuli. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):536. doi: 10.1167/5.8.536.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Holistic processing, dominance of configural information, and inversion effect have been characterized for the special face recognition system differed from the object recognition system. However, many studies suggested a single mechanism for all objects and indicated that the degree of perceptual expertise might induce face-specific effects regarded as evidence for multiple domain-specific recognition systems. We investigated this issue using synthetic face and fish stimuli constructed by summation of radial frequency components. We examined (1) behaviorally whether these unfamiliar face and fish stimuli produce no face-specific effects for novices, (2) whether experts who learned the level of gender and race of synthetic faces and the level of body- and tail-shape of synthetic fishes exhibit these effects, (3) whether attention affects experts and novices in the recognition of synthetic stimuli, and (4) whether there are activation shifts of brain areas with expertise in recognizing synthetic stimuli in an fMRI study. In experiments, novices did not show characteristics of holistic processing in face recognition. Dominance of configual information and inversion effect were not observed, either. It was also found that the divided attention affects experts and novices differently in recognizing faces. Meanwhile, an fMRI study revealed that synthetic faces produced stronger activation in the fusiform face area (FFA) for experts than for novices. However, synthetic fishes produced stronger activation in the parahippocampal gyrus and the anterior cingulate gyrus for novices than for experts, whereas the relative strength of activation in FFA to synthetic fishes was higher for experts than for novices. These results indicate that face and non-face object stimuli activate the same brain area with expertise in recognition. Taken together, our expertise-based behavioral and fMRI data directly provide evidence for a single recognition system for faces and objects.
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