Purchase this article with an account.
Buyun Xu, James W. Tanaka; Does face inversion qualitatively change face processing: An eye movement study using a face change detection task. Journal of Vision 2013;13(2):22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.2.22.
Download citation file:
© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Understanding the Face Inversion Effect is important for the study of face processing. Some researchers believe that the processing of inverted faces is qualitatively different from the processing of upright faces because inversion leads to a disproportionate performance decrement on the processing of different kinds of face information. Other researchers believe that the difference is quantitative because the processing of all kinds of facial information is less efficient due to the change in orientation and thus, the performance decrement is not disproportionate. To address the Qualitative and Quantitative debate, the current study employed a response-contingent, change detection paradigm to study eye movement during the processing of upright and inverted faces. In this study, configural and featural information were parametrically and independently manipulated in the eye and mouth region of the face. The manipulations for configural information involved changing the interocular distance between the eyes or the distance between the mouth and the nose. The manipulations for featural information involved changing the size of the eyes or the size of the mouth. The main results showed that change detection was more difficult in inverted than upright faces. Specifically, performance declined when the manipulated change occurred in the mouth region, despite the greater efforts allocated to the mouth region. Moreover, compared to upright faces where fixations were concentrated on the eyes and nose regions, inversion produced a higher concentration of fixations on the nose and mouth regions. Finally, change detection performance was better when the last fixation prior to response was located on the region of change, and the relationship between last fixation location and accuracy was stronger for inverted than upright faces. These findings reinforce the connection between eye movements and face processing strategies, and suggest that face inversion produces a qualitative disruption of looking behavior in the mouth region.
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only