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Show me the features! Understanding recognition from the use of visual information

Schyns, P.G. and Bonnar, E.A. and Gosselin, F. (2002) Show me the features! Understanding recognition from the use of visual information. Psychological Science, 13 (5). pp. 402-409. ISSN 0956-7976

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Abstract

We propose an approach that allows a rigorous understanding of the visual categorization and recognition process without asking direct questions about unobservable memory representations. Our approach builds on the selective use of visual information in recognition and a new method (Bubbles) to depict and measure what this information is. We examine three face-recognition tasks (identity, gender, expressive or not) and establish the componential and holistic information responsible for recognition performance. On the basis of this information, we derive task-specific gradients of probability for the allocation of attention to the different regions of the face.