September 2021
Volume 21, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2021
High familiar faces have both part recognition and holistic processing advantages
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Yijun Li
    Zhejiang Sci-tech University, Hangzhou, China
  • Yu-Hao Sun
    Universidad Pontificia de Comillas
  • Lushuang Zhang
    Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Weidong Zhang
    Skolkovo Institute of Science & Technology
  • Wenjing Deng
    Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Zhe Wang
    Centre for Neuroscience, Hull-York Medical School, Heslington, York, UK
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This research was supported by grants from the Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY20C090010, LY19C090006).
Journal of Vision September 2021, Vol.21, 2555. doi:
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      Yijun Li, Yu-Hao Sun, Lushuang Zhang, Weidong Zhang, Wenjing Deng, Zhe Wang; High familiar faces have both part recognition and holistic processing advantages. Journal of Vision 2021;21(9):2555. doi:

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

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Previous studies reported that people recognize familiar faces better than unfamiliar faces(Jenkins, White, Van Montford & Burton, 2011). Does face part-based and/or holistic processing play a role in it? Wang and her colleagues (2015, 2019) in studies for face other-race effect (ORE) and species-specific effect (SSE) found that both part-based and holistic processing were strengthened, in a region-selective (i.e., eyes region vs. mouth region ) way, by people daily experience accumulation. In this current study, we examined whether both part-based (probably region-selective) and holistic processing contribute to face familiarity effect. Three levels of familiar faces were used. They were classmates’ faces (high familiar), schoolmates in the same department but different classes (middle familiar), and schoolmates in different departments (unfamiliar). Using an old/new task, Experiment 1 found high familiar eyes recognized better than middle familiar or unfamiliar faces (p=0.004, 0.001, respectively), but not for mouth recognition, suggesting a part-based region-selective familiarity effect. Using the “Perceptual field” Paradigm (Van Belle et al., 2015), Experiment 2 found that high familiar faces have strongest inversion effect (ps<0.001, <0.05, >0.35, in high familiar, middle familiar, and unfamiliar faces conditions, respectively), suggesting face holistic processing plays a role in face familiarity effect. The experience-based holistic processing hypothesis for face recognition was supported.


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