Dr. Angry and Mr. Smile: when categorization flexibly modifies the perception of faces in rapid visual presentations

Schyns, P.G. and Oliva, A. (1999) Dr. Angry and Mr. Smile: when categorization flexibly modifies the perception of faces in rapid visual presentations. Cognition, 69(3), pp. 243-265. (doi: 10.1016/S0010-0277(98)00069-9)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(98)00069-9


Are categorization and visual processing independent, with categorization operating late, on an already perceived input, or are they intertwined, with the act of categorization flexibly changing (i.e. cognitively penetrating) the early perception of the stimulus? We examined this issue in three experiments by applying different categorization tasks (gender, expressive or not, which expression and identity) to identical face stimuli. Stimuli were hybrids: they combined a man or a woman with a particular expression at a coarse spatial scale with a face of the opposite gender with a different expression at the fine spatial scale. Results suggested that the categorization task changes the spatial scales preferentially used and perceived for rapid recognition. A perceptual set effect is shown whereby the scale preference of an important categorization (e.g. identity) transfers to resolve other face categorizations (e.g. expressive or not, which expression). Together, the results suggest that categorization can be closely bound to perception.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Schyns, Professor Philippe
Authors: Schyns, P.G., and Oliva, A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Cognition
Published Online:24 March 1999

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
219111Flexible, rather than fixed, usage of spatial scales in recognitionPhilippe SchynsEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)R000237412Cognitive Neuroimaging & Neuroengineering Technologies