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Featural, configural, and holistic face-processing strategies evoke different scan patterns


Bombari, D; Mast, F W; Lobmaier, J S (2009). Featural, configural, and holistic face-processing strategies evoke different scan patterns. Perception, 38(10):1508-21.

Abstract

In two experiments we investigated the role of eye movements during face processing. In experiment 1, using modified faces with primarily featural (scrambled faces) or configural (blurred faces) information as cue stimuli, we manipulated the way participants processed subsequently presented intact faces. In a sequential same-different task, participants decided whether the identity of an intact test face matched a preceding scrambled or blurred cue face. Analysis of eye movements for test faces showed more interfeatural saccades when they followed a blurred face, and longer gaze duration within the same feature when they followed scrambled faces. In experiment 2, we used a similar paradigm except that test faces were cued by intact faces, low-level blurred stimuli, or second-order scrambled stimuli (features were cut out but maintained their first-order relations). We found that in the intact condition participants performed fewer interfeatural saccades than in low-level blurred condition and had shorter gaze duration than in second-order scrambled condition. Moreover, participants fixated the centre of the test face to grasp the information from the whole face. Our findings suggest a differentiation between featural, configural, and holistic processing strategies, which can be associated with specific patterns of eye movements.

In two experiments we investigated the role of eye movements during face processing. In experiment 1, using modified faces with primarily featural (scrambled faces) or configural (blurred faces) information as cue stimuli, we manipulated the way participants processed subsequently presented intact faces. In a sequential same-different task, participants decided whether the identity of an intact test face matched a preceding scrambled or blurred cue face. Analysis of eye movements for test faces showed more interfeatural saccades when they followed a blurred face, and longer gaze duration within the same feature when they followed scrambled faces. In experiment 2, we used a similar paradigm except that test faces were cued by intact faces, low-level blurred stimuli, or second-order scrambled stimuli (features were cut out but maintained their first-order relations). We found that in the intact condition participants performed fewer interfeatural saccades than in low-level blurred condition and had shorter gaze duration than in second-order scrambled condition. Moreover, participants fixated the centre of the test face to grasp the information from the whole face. Our findings suggest a differentiation between featural, configural, and holistic processing strategies, which can be associated with specific patterns of eye movements.

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17 citations in Web of Science®
19 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:18 Dec 2009 14:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:38
Publisher:Pion
ISSN:0301-0066
Publisher DOI:10.1068/p6117
PubMed ID:19950482

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