McKone E, Brewer J L, MacPherson S, Rhodes G, Hayward W G, 2007, "Familiar other-race faces show normal holistic processing and are robust to perceptual stress" Perception 36(2) 224 – 248
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Familiar other-race faces show normal holistic processing and are robust to perceptual stress
Elinor McKone, Jacqueline L Brewer, Sarah MacPherson, Gillian Rhodes, William G Hayward
Received 16 August 2005, in revised form 17 February 2006; published online 24 January 2007
Abstract. Other-race individuals are remembered more poorly and receive less holistic/configural processing than same-race individuals, at least when faces are novel. Here, we examine the amelioration of these effects with familiarity, using distinctiveness-matched Caucasian and Asian stimulus sets. We confirmed a cross-race deficit for upright faces following a single encoding trial, which disappeared rapidly with practice on a small set of other-race ‘friends’ and did not re-emerge when perceptual processing was put under stress (presentation in the periphery). We also examined holistic/configural processing for familiarised faces using the peripheral inversion effect (McKone, 2004 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 30 181 – 197). A test for faces and nonface objects (dogs) confirmed the validity of this technique as providing a direct measure of holistic processing; we then showed that, after 1 h of training, holistic processing was as strong for other-race as same-race faces. We conclude that practice with other-race individuals can rapidly engage normal face-processing mechanisms.
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