It has previously been reported that subjects show difficulties in recognizing faces which are either inverted or in photographic negative. This study examined whether inversion and negation would disrupt the same aspects of face recognition processes in a same-different decision task for simultaneously presented faces. In a "different" condition, two faces were subtlely changed either in component information (eye size) or configural information (placement of inner features). The results revealed that negation equally disrupted component and configural processings, whereas inversion selectively disrupted configural processing more than component processing. Thus, the negation effect, which has been accounted for in terms of edge vs. surface processing, cannot be accounted for in terms of component vs. configural processing. It is concluded that inversion and negation selectively disrupt different aspects of cognitive processes underlying face recognition.
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