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Moving the Thatcher Illusion

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Schwaninger,  A
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Cunningham,  DW
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Kleiner,  M
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Schwaninger, A., Cunningham, D., & Kleiner, M. (2002). Moving the Thatcher Illusion. Poster presented at 10th Annual Workshop on Object Perception and Memory (OPAM 2002), Kansas City, KS, USA.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-DEA1-E
Abstract
Inverting the eyes and the mouth within the facial context produces a bizarre facial expression when the face is presented upright but not when the face is inverted (Thatcher illusion, Thompson, 1980). In the present study we investigated whether this illusion is part-based or holistic and whether motion increases bizarreness. Static upright Thatcher faces were rated more bizarre than the eyes and mouth presented in isolation suggesting an important role of context and holistic processing. As expected, inverted facial stimuli were perceived much less bizarre. Interestingly, isolated parts were more bizarre than the whole thatcherized face when inverted. Adding motion to the smiling thatcherized faces increased bizarreness in all conditions (parts vs. whole, upright vs. inverted). These results were replicated in a separate experiment with talking instead of smiling faces and are discussed within an integrative model of face processing.