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Perception. 2004;33(9):1129-38.

Experiments with a hollow mask and a reverspective: top-down influences in the inversion effect for 3-D stimuli.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering and Laboratory of Vision Research, Rutgers University, Psychology Building Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020, USA.


Earlier psychophysical and physiological studies, obtained mostly with two-dimensional (2-D) stimuli, provided evidence for the hypothesis that the processing of faces differs from that of scenes. We report on our experiments, employing realistic three-dimensional (3-D) stimuli of a hollow mask and a scene, that offer further evidence for this hypothesis. The stimuli used for both faces and scenes were bistable, namely they could elicit either the veridical or an illusory volumetric percept. Our results indicate that the illusion is weakened when the stimuli are inverted, suggesting the involvement of top down processes. This inversion effect is statistically significant for the facial stimulus, but the trend did not reach statistical significance for the scene stimulus. These results support the hypothesis that configural processing is stronger for the 3-D perception of faces than it is for scenes, and extend the conclusions of earlier studies on 2-D stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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