Perceptual learning and face recognition : Disruption of second order relational information reduces the face inversion effect.


The face inversion effect is a reduction in recognition performance for inverted faces compared to upright faces that is greater than that typically observed with other stimulus types (e.g. houses; Yin, 1969). This study investigated the link between second-order relational structure and the face inversion effect suggested by Diamond and Carey (1986). The idea is that expertise gained as a consequence of a great deal of experience with exemplars derived from a familiar category, that possess what Diamond and Carey term second order relational structure, can produce an improved ability to distinguish between and recognise members of this category, which is lost on inversion. In this paper we report two experiments that confirm that we can obtain a strong face inversion effect, and that the magnitude of this effect can be reduced by disrupting the second order relational structure of the faces.

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