Spatio-temporal dynamics of face recognition in a flash: itʼs in the eyes

Cognitive Science 28 (2):289-301 (2004)
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Abstract

We adapted the Bubbles procedure [Vis. Res. 41 (2001) 2261] to examine the effective use of information during the first 282 ms of face identification. Ten participants each viewed a total of 5100 faces sub-sampled in space–time. We obtained a clear pattern of effective use of information: the eye on the left side of the image became diagnostic between 47 and 94 ms after the onset of the stimulus; after 94 ms, both eyes were used effectively. This preference for the eyes increased with practice, and was not solely due to the informativeness of the eyes for the task at hand. The bias for the eye on the left side of the image is explained in terms of hemispheric specialization. Although there were individual differences, most participants exhibited this pattern of effective use of information. An intriguing finding is that most participants displayed a clear sinusoidal modulation of effective use of attention through time with a frequency of about 10.6 Hz.

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References found in this work

A feature integration theory of attention.Anne Treisman - 1980 - Cognitive Psychology 12:97-136.
Visual routines.Shimon Ullman - 1984 - Cognition 18 (1-3):97-159.
Change blindness.Daniel J. Simons & Daniel T. Levin - 1997 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 1 (1):241-82.
Parts and wholes in face recognition.J. W. Tanaka & M. J. Farah - 1991 - Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society 29 (6):520-520.

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