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Talia Brandman, Galit Yovel; A face inversion effect without a face. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):631. doi: 10.1167/12.9.631.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Numerous studies have attributed the face inversion effect (FIE) to configural processing of internal facial features in upright but not inverted faces. Recent findings suggest that face mechanisms can be activated by faceless stimuli presented in the context of a body. Here we asked whether faceless stimuli with or without body context may induce a face-sized inversion effect. In Experiment 1 subjects performed a sequential matching task for upright and inverted faces, faceless heads with full, minimal or no body context, headless bodies and bodies viewed from the back. The face stimuli differed in identity and were used to assess which of the other stimuli would generate a face-sized inversion effect. All faceless stimuli differed in posture. Our results show face-sized inversion effects for faceless heads with full or even minimal body context, but not for faceless heads without any body context, headless bodies or bodies viewed from the back. In Experiment 2 we briefly presented the same stimuli with or without faces followed by a mask and asked subjects to rate how confident they were that they saw a face in the image. We found high confidence rating for the existence of a face for the same faceless stimuli that generated a face-sized inversion effect, but low ratings for the faceless stimuli that generated a small inversion effect. These findings remarkably show that in contrast to the well-established configural explanation for the FIE, the FIE does not necessarily depend on the processing of internal facial features, but can be also triggered for faceless stimuli by the representation of a contextually induced face percept.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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