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Catherine Reed, Daivik Vyas, Alison Harris; Holistic Processing of Body Postures. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):248. doi: 10.1167/15.12.248.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Although research supports the idea that faces are processed holistically, less evidence exists for the holistic processing of bodies. The body has more degrees of freedom, making it a challenge to distinguish between holistic and configural processing via traditional tests of holistic processing (e.g., the composite effect). Here, we test for the holistic processing of body postures using a stereoscopic manipulation to create either the percept of a whole body occluded by a set of bars or segments of body floating in front of a background. Despite having identical low-level properties, only the first stimulus is perceived holistically due to filling-in via amodal completion. These stimuli were presented in a modified version of the whole-versus-part superiority paradigm (Tanaka & Farah, 1993) in which subjects were asked to identify body parts either in isolation or within the context of a body. In line with previous results for faces, our current data suggest that recognition performance was better for body parts in the whole-body condition, relative to isolated parts and for conditions where the body was perceived to be whole behind the bars. Additionally, it appears that the whole-part difference is greater for stereoscopic conditions where the body is perceived to be intact behind the bars rather than as floating body segments. These findings support the idea that bodies, like faces, can be processed in a holistic manner, laying the groundwork for further research using this paradigm.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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