Facial Perception as a Configural Process

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Configural or gestalt processing are general terms given to phenomena where the whole is different from the sum of its parts. Here we explore these phenomena through face perception, a known configural process. In this experiment, subjects are presented with a split face recognition task with manipulations on the presence or absence and the salience of each half, the famous composite face design. It is one of a number of perceptual experimental designs based on selective attention and the presence or absence of interference expressed in RT or accuracy. We performed a replication of this task and then added a design based on divided attention. Systems factorial technology is employed to draw conclusions regarding architecture, stopping rule, capacity and independence.


Presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Amsterdam, Netherlands.