Hemispheric asymmetry in discriminating faces differing for featural or configural (second-order relations) aspects

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Cattaneo, Zaira; Renzi, Chiara; Bona, Silvia; Merabet, Lotfi B.; Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Vecchi, Tomaso
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2013
Pages: 1-30 ; Illustrationen, Diagramme
Source/Other editions: Psychonomic bulletin & review : a journal of the Psychonomic Society ; PB&R. (2013), Brief Report, published online: 26 July 2013, S. 1-30. - ISSN: 1531-5320
is version of: 10.3758/s13423-013-0484-2
Year of first publication: 2013
Language(s): English
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-24055
Human capacity to discriminate among different faces relies on distinct parallel sub-processes, either based on analysis of configural aspects of faces or on the sequential analysis of the single elements of a face. A particular type of configural processing consists in considering whether two faces differ in terms of internal spacing among their features, i.e., second-order relations processing. Findings from electrophysiological, neuroimaging and lesions' studies suggest that overall configural processes rely more on right hemisphere’s resources, whereas analysis of single features would involve more the left hemisphere. However, results are not always consistent, and there is no yet clear behavioral demonstration for a right-hemisphere specialization in second-order relations processing. Here we used divided visual field presentation to investigate the possible different contribution of the two hemispheres in faces' discrimination based on relational vs. featural processing. Our data indicate a right hemisphere specialization in relational processing of upright (but not inverted) faces, and provide evidence on the involvement of both right and left hemisphere resources in processing faces differing for inner features, suggesting that in this case both analytical and configural modes of processing are at play.
Type: Article
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/2405
Year of publication: 15. November 2013

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