From individual features to full faces: Combining aspects of face information

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Abstract

We investigated how information from face features is combined by comparing sensitivity to individual features with that for external (head shape, hairline) and internal (nose, mouth, eyes, eyebrows) feature compounds. Discrimination thresholds were measured for synthetic faces under the following conditions: (a) full-faces; (b) individual features (e.g., nose); and (c) feature compounds (either external or internal). Individual features and feature compounds were presented both in isolation and embedded within a fixed, task irrelevant face context. Relative to the fullface baseline, threshold elevations for the internal feature compound (2.41x) were comparable to those for the most sensitive individual feature (nose=2.12x). External features demonstrated the same pattern. A model that incorporated all available feature information within a single channel in an efficient way overestimated sensitivity to feature compounds. Embedding individual features within a task-irrelevant context reduced discrimination sensitivity, relative to isolated presentation. Sensitivity to feature compounds, however, was unaffected by embedding. A loss of sensitivity when embedding features within a fixed-face context is consistent with holistic processing, which limits access to information about individual features. However, holistic combination of information across face features is not efficient: Sensitivity to feature compounds is no better than sensitivity to the best individual feature. No effect of embedding internal feature compounds within task-irrelevant external face features (or vice versa) suggests that external and internal features are processed independently.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Vision
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2019

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Nose
Eyebrows
Access to Information
Mouth
Head

Keywords

  • Face perception
  • Psychophysics
  • Face features

Cite this

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title = "From individual features to full faces: Combining aspects of face information",
abstract = "We investigated how information from face features is combined by comparing sensitivity to individual features with that for external (head shape, hairline) and internal (nose, mouth, eyes, eyebrows) feature compounds. Discrimination thresholds were measured for synthetic faces under the following conditions: (a) full-faces; (b) individual features (e.g., nose); and (c) feature compounds (either external or internal). Individual features and feature compounds were presented both in isolation and embedded within a fixed, task irrelevant face context. Relative to the fullface baseline, threshold elevations for the internal feature compound (2.41x) were comparable to those for the most sensitive individual feature (nose=2.12x). External features demonstrated the same pattern. A model that incorporated all available feature information within a single channel in an efficient way overestimated sensitivity to feature compounds. Embedding individual features within a task-irrelevant context reduced discrimination sensitivity, relative to isolated presentation. Sensitivity to feature compounds, however, was unaffected by embedding. A loss of sensitivity when embedding features within a fixed-face context is consistent with holistic processing, which limits access to information about individual features. However, holistic combination of information across face features is not efficient: Sensitivity to feature compounds is no better than sensitivity to the best individual feature. No effect of embedding internal feature compounds within task-irrelevant external face features (or vice versa) suggests that external and internal features are processed independently.",
keywords = "Face perception, Psychophysics, Face features",
author = "Logan, {Andrew J.} and Gordon, {Gael E.} and Gunter Loffler",
note = "Acceptance in SAN",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "22",
doi = "10.1167/19.4.23",
language = "English",
volume = "19",
journal = "Journal of Vision",
issn = "1534-7362",
publisher = "Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - From individual features to full faces: Combining aspects of face information

AU - Logan, Andrew J.

AU - Gordon, Gael E.

AU - Loffler, Gunter

N1 - Acceptance in SAN

PY - 2019/4/22

Y1 - 2019/4/22

N2 - We investigated how information from face features is combined by comparing sensitivity to individual features with that for external (head shape, hairline) and internal (nose, mouth, eyes, eyebrows) feature compounds. Discrimination thresholds were measured for synthetic faces under the following conditions: (a) full-faces; (b) individual features (e.g., nose); and (c) feature compounds (either external or internal). Individual features and feature compounds were presented both in isolation and embedded within a fixed, task irrelevant face context. Relative to the fullface baseline, threshold elevations for the internal feature compound (2.41x) were comparable to those for the most sensitive individual feature (nose=2.12x). External features demonstrated the same pattern. A model that incorporated all available feature information within a single channel in an efficient way overestimated sensitivity to feature compounds. Embedding individual features within a task-irrelevant context reduced discrimination sensitivity, relative to isolated presentation. Sensitivity to feature compounds, however, was unaffected by embedding. A loss of sensitivity when embedding features within a fixed-face context is consistent with holistic processing, which limits access to information about individual features. However, holistic combination of information across face features is not efficient: Sensitivity to feature compounds is no better than sensitivity to the best individual feature. No effect of embedding internal feature compounds within task-irrelevant external face features (or vice versa) suggests that external and internal features are processed independently.

AB - We investigated how information from face features is combined by comparing sensitivity to individual features with that for external (head shape, hairline) and internal (nose, mouth, eyes, eyebrows) feature compounds. Discrimination thresholds were measured for synthetic faces under the following conditions: (a) full-faces; (b) individual features (e.g., nose); and (c) feature compounds (either external or internal). Individual features and feature compounds were presented both in isolation and embedded within a fixed, task irrelevant face context. Relative to the fullface baseline, threshold elevations for the internal feature compound (2.41x) were comparable to those for the most sensitive individual feature (nose=2.12x). External features demonstrated the same pattern. A model that incorporated all available feature information within a single channel in an efficient way overestimated sensitivity to feature compounds. Embedding individual features within a task-irrelevant context reduced discrimination sensitivity, relative to isolated presentation. Sensitivity to feature compounds, however, was unaffected by embedding. A loss of sensitivity when embedding features within a fixed-face context is consistent with holistic processing, which limits access to information about individual features. However, holistic combination of information across face features is not efficient: Sensitivity to feature compounds is no better than sensitivity to the best individual feature. No effect of embedding internal feature compounds within task-irrelevant external face features (or vice versa) suggests that external and internal features are processed independently.

KW - Face perception

KW - Psychophysics

KW - Face features

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