Processing of low spatial frequency faces at periphery in choice reaching tasks

Awasthi, B., Friedman, J. and Williams, M. A. (2011) Processing of low spatial frequency faces at periphery in choice reaching tasks. Neuropsychologia, 49(7), pp. 2136-2141. (doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.03.003) (PMID:21397615)

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Various aspects of face processing have been associated with distinct ranges of spatial frequencies. Con- figural processing of faces depends chiefly on low spatial frequency (LSF) information whereas high spatial frequency (HSF) supports feature based processing. However, it has also been argued that face processing has a foveal-bias (HSF channels dominate the fovea). Here we used reach trajectories as a con- tinuous behavioral measure to study perceptual processing of faces. Experimental stimuli were LSF–HSF hybrids of male and female faces superimposed and were presented peripherally and centrally. Subject reached out to touch a specified sex and their movements were recorded. The reaching trajectories reveal that there is less effect of (interference by) LSF faces at fovea as compared to periphery while reaching to HSF targets. These results demonstrate that peripherally presented LSF information, carried chiefly by magnocellular channels, enables efficient processing of faces, possibly via a retinotectal (subcortical) pathway.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP0984919) to MAW and a Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) to BA.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Awasthi, Dr Bhuvanesh
Authors: Awasthi, B., Friedman, J., and Williams, M. A.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > QP Physiology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Neuropsychologia
Published Online:11 March 2011

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