Processing style and person recognition: exploring the face inversion effect

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19 Citations (Scopus)


It has frequently been reported that recognition performance is impaired when faces are presented in an inverted rather than upright orientation, a phenomenon termed the face inversion effect (FIE). Extending previous work on this topic, the current investigation explored whether individual differences in global precedence-the propensity to process nonfacial stimuli in a configural manner-impacts memory for faces. Based on performance on the Navon letter-classification task, two experimental groups were created that differed in relative global precedence (i.e., strong global precedence [SGP] and weak global precedence [WGP]). In a subsequent face-recognition task, results revealed that while both groups demonstrated a reliable FIE, this effect was attenuated among participants displaying WGP. These findings suggest that individual differences in general processing style modulate face recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
Number of pages10
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jul 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • social cognition
  • face processing
  • individual differences
  • person perception
  • face perception
  • inverted faces
  • autism
  • perception
  • bias
  • information
  • precedence
  • expertise
  • children
  • adults
  • parts


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