Effects of familiarity on the perceptual integrality of the identity and expression of faces: The parallel-route hypothesis revisited

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Abstract

The effects of familiarity on selective attention for the identity and expression of faces were tested using Garner's speeded-classification task. In 2 experiments, participants classified expression (or identity) of familiar and unfamiliar faces while the irrelevant dimension of identity (or expression) was either held constant (baseline condition) or varied randomly (filtering condition). Selective attention was measured by the difference in performance between these 2 conditions. Failure of selective attention was larger for familiar than for unfamiliar faces. In addition, failure of selective attention was found both for identity and for expression judgments. These findings show that familiarity increases the perceptual integrality between identity and expression, and they question previous studies arguing that identity judgments are always resistant to irrelevant variations in expression. The authors suggest that the systems processing identity and expression are interconnected in that facial identity serves as a reference from which expressions can be more easily derived.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-597
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

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