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Journal Article

Behavioral evidence for a predominant and nonlateralized coarse-to-fine encoding for face categorization


Kauffmann,  Louise
Université Grenoble Alpes, France;
Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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de Moraes, R., Kauffmann, L., Fukusima, S. S., & Faubert, J. (2016). Behavioral evidence for a predominant and nonlateralized coarse-to-fine encoding for face categorization. Psychology & Neuroscience, 9(4), 399-410. doi:10.1037/pne0000065.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-6461-C
Influential models on visual perception assume that there is a precedence of low over high spatial frequencies (SFs) in the processing time course of the visual input, that is, a coarse-to-fine (CtF) encoding. Additionally, hemispheric asymmetries for strategies of SF processing have been shown. A CtF processing would be favored in the right hemisphere, whereas the reverse fine-to-coarse (FtC) processing would be favored in the left hemisphere. In the current article, we aimed to behaviorally investigate which temporal strategy, that is, CtF or FtC, each brain hemisphere performs to integrate SF information of human faces. To address this issue, we conducted a male–female categorization task using the divided visual field paradigm; CtF and FtC brief dynamic sequences of faces were presented in the left, right, and central visual fields. Results of the correct response time and the inverse efficiency score showed an overall advantage of CtF processing for face categorization, irrespective of the visual field of presentation. Error rate data also highlights the role of the right hemisphere in CtF processing. Here, we provide evidence at the behavioral level for a general and nonlateralized precedence of the default CtF strategy carried out by the visual system to encode faces, a complex stimulus with ecological value.