September 2019
Volume 19, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2019
The two-faces of recognition ability: better face recognizers extract different physical content from left and right sides of face stimuli
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Simon Faghel-Soubeyrand
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK
    Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK
    Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Arjen Alink
    UMC Hamburg-Eppendorf, University of Hamburg, Germany
  • Eva Bamps
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK
    Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK
    Faculty of Psychology, KU Leuven, Belgium
  • Rose-Marie Gervais
    Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Frédéric Gosselin
    Département de Psychologie, Université de Montréal, Canada
  • Ian Charest
    School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK
    Centre for Human Brain Health, University of Birmingham, UK
Journal of Vision September 2019, Vol.19, 136d. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.136d
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      Simon Faghel-Soubeyrand, Arjen Alink, Eva Bamps, Rose-Marie Gervais, Frédéric Gosselin, Ian Charest; The two-faces of recognition ability: better face recognizers extract different physical content from left and right sides of face stimuli. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):136d. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.136d.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Why are some individuals better at recognizing faces than others? Research has only recently begun to unveil possible perceptual mechanisms responsible for such individual differences. These include tuning to horizontal facial information, “holistic” processing, and reliance on the eye region (e.g. DeGutis et al., 2013; Duncan et al., 2017; Faghel-Soubeyrand et al., 2018). However, neither these visual determinants have been investigated together, nor have they been related to specific neural processes. Here, we address these issues by using diagnostic feature mapping (DFM; Alink & Charest 2018), a novel classification image technique that efficiently reveals the location, spatial frequency, and orientation information used to resolve perceptual tasks. A large sample of neurotypicals (N=120) were asked to discriminate the gender and expression (happy vs. fear) of randomly sampled face stimuli during two separate sessions (2400 trials per subject per task, for a total of 576,000 trials). We discovered that face recognition ability (assessed using the CFMT+ and CFPT; Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006) correlates with the use of specific spatial frequencies (4–6; 12–18 cpi)—but not with orientation information—in the right-eye area from the observer’s viewpoint for the face-gender task (cf. Faghel-Soubeyrand et al. 2018) while it correlates with the use of specific orientations (150–180 deg)—but not with spatial frequency information—in the left-eye area for the face-expression task. This indicates that skilled face recognisers, depending on the task at hand, extract different physical content from either the left or right-eye. High-density EEG revealed that this lateralized and qualitatively different use of information occurs as early as 187 ms after face onset. We will discuss these findings in the context of brain lateralization effects such as the coarse/fine information processing bias (e.g. Quek et al., 2018) and the right-hemisphere dominance for visuo-spatial attention (ThiebautDeSchotten et al., 2011).

Acknowledgement: NSERC, FRQNT, RRSV, MITACS 
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