This site uses cookies

By using this site, you consent to our use of cookies. You can view our terms and conditions for more information.

The Time Course of Composite Face Processing

Daniel R. Little
The University of Melbourne ~ Psychological Sciences
Carmen Lynch
The University of Melbourne ~ Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences
Jun Cheng
The University of Melbourne ~ Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

Faces are considered a special class of holistically-processed object. The composite face task is a widely-used paradigm for inferring holistic processing. In this task, recognition of one half of a composite face is shown to be hampered by interference from the other half of the face when faces are aligned but not when misaligned. Although this effect has been documented numerous times, when used in different paradigms, composite faces do not always exhibit effects consistent with holism. The present study explored the cause of these discrepant findings by combining a composite face task with a signal-to-respond paradigm. The amount of time to make a face recognition decision was manipulated by introducing a response signal, and the resulting changes in accuracy were mapped over the time course of processing, which was then used to fit a speed-accuracy trade-off model. We found that holistic processing emerges late in the time course after approximately 400 ms processing time for easy to discriminate faces and after approximately 1000 ms for difficult to discriminate faces.



Face recognition
holistic processing
composite faces
response signal


Mathematical Psychology

There is nothing here yet. Be the first to create a thread.

Cite this as:

Little, D., Lynch, C., & Cheng, X. (2021, February). The Time Course of Composite Face Processing. Paper presented at Australasian Mathematical Psychology Conference 2021. Via