The face-inversion effect (FIE) is explained by the configural-processing hypothesis. It proposes that inversion disrupts configural information processing (spatial links among facial features) and leaves the processing of featural information (eyes, nose, and mouth) comparatively intact. According to this hypothesis, an inverted isolated facial feature cannot show a feature-inversion effect-that is, behavior similar to the FIE-since all the spatial links between it and the other features in a face are eliminated; that is, the configural information is removed. The findings of the present study, which show that isolated eyes do exhibit the feature-inversion effect, support the extended configural-processing hypothesis. This proposes that inversion also impairs processing of the configural information within the eyes themselves. Removal of the brows in whole faces tended to interfere with processing of the configural information in the upright position but to facilitate processing in the inverted position.
- Face perception
- Face recognition
- Face-inversion effect
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)