August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
The impact of culture on the processing of spatial frequencies during the recognition of homogenous objects
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alexandre Cousineau
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Francis Gingras
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
    Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Daniel Fiset
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Caroline Blais
    Université du Québec en Outaouais
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  Canada Research Chair in cognitive and social vision (# 950-232282); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (RGPIN-2019-06201).
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5013. doi:
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      Alexandre Cousineau, Francis Gingras, Daniel Fiset, Caroline Blais; The impact of culture on the processing of spatial frequencies during the recognition of homogenous objects. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5013.

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

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Several studies have shown cultural differences in the fixation patterns observed during tasks of different nature, like face identification (Blais et al., 2008) and object recognition (Kelly et al., 2010). The general pattern of findings suggests that East Asians rely more on peripheral processing and deploy their attention more broadly than Westerners (Miellet et al.,2013). In line with this, studies have shown that East Asians process faces in lower spatial frequencies (SF) than Westerners (Tardif et al., 2017). However, it is not clear if this cultural difference in SF processing is specific to faces. In fact, it has not been found during the processing of scenes and non-homogenous objects (Blais et al., 2018). Compared with scenes and most everyday objects, faces have the property of having homogeneous configurations. The present study thus verified if a cultural difference in SF tunings occurs while processing homogeneous objects : Greebles (Gauthier & Tarr, 1997). We tested 121 participants who were born in Western or East Asians countries.The online study consisted of 600 trials of a same-different task, using the SF bubbles method (Willenbockel et al.,2010). One-sample t-tests (Pixel test from the Stat4CI; Chauvin et al., 2005) indicate that SF ranging between 2 and 11 cycles/object (tcrit=3.89, p<.05), and between 3 and 16 cycles/object (tcrit=3.53, p<.05) were used by East Asians and Westerners, respectively. We generated 1000 bootstrap samples to compare the SF used by both cultural groups, and found that low SF ranging between 1 and 3 cycles/object were significantly more used by East Asians (p<.025). Our results suggest that cultural differences in the processing of SF can be generalized to other objects sharing similar configurations. Future studies will aim to understand the source of these differences.


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