Is holistic/configural processing restricted to human faces?

D. Burke, Danielle Sulikowski, M. Willis, E. McKone, S. Favelle

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Holistic/configural processing has typically been found for faces, but not for other categories of objects. This raises important questions about the nature of the face processing mechanism, the kinds of stimuli that can activate it, and about the evolutionary origin of a face-processing module, if one exists. To begin to address these questions, the current study examined the extent to which the well-known inversion effect and composite effect occur when people make identity judgements of the faces of other species ' particularly those of our nearest phylogenetic relatives. While the inversion effect was evident across a range of faces (for almost all primate faces tested), the composite effect was only evident when human faces were used as stimuli. These results hold implications for the -specialness' of the processing of human faces and for the kinds of tasks that best reflect this processing.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference - Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 28 Apr 201130 Apr 2011


Conference38th Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


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