Beyond faces and expertise: Facelike holistic processing of nonface objects in the absence of expertise

Zhao, Mintao, Bülthoff, Heinrich H. and Bülthoff, Isabelle (2016) Beyond faces and expertise: Facelike holistic processing of nonface objects in the absence of expertise. Psychological Science, 27 (2). pp. 213-222. ISSN 0956-7976

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Holistic processing-the tendency to perceive objects as indecomposable wholes-has long been viewed as a process specific to faces or objects of expertise. Although current theories differ in what causes holistic processing, they share a fundamental constraint for its generalization: Nonface objects cannot elicit facelike holistic processing in the absence of expertise. Contrary to this prevailing view, here we show that line patterns with salient Gestalt information (i.e., connectedness, closure, and continuity between parts) can be processed as holistically as faces without any training. Moreover, weakening the saliency of Gestalt information in these patterns reduced holistic processing of them, which indicates that Gestalt information plays a crucial role in holistic processing. Therefore, holistic processing can be achieved not only via a top-down route based on expertise, but also via a bottom-up route relying merely on object-based information. The finding that facelike holistic processing can extend beyond the domains of faces and objects of expertise poses a challenge to current dominant theories.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2015.
Uncontrolled Keywords: holistic processing,composite-face effect,expertise,face perception,gestalt
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Developmental Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2017 05:06
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2023 09:30
DOI: 10.1177/0956797615617779


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