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Brain Cogn. 1993 May;22(1):19-41.

Configural coding, expertise, and the right hemisphere advantage for face recognition.

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Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Expertise in recognizing faces is associated with configural coding and configural coding is associated with a right hemisphere advantage for face recognition. Therefore one would expect the orientation-specific LVF (left visual field) advantage for face recognition to be moderated by expertise. The present experiments examined the effect of expertise with face ethnicity on the LVF advantage. In Experiment 1 subjects showed expertise-related use of configural coding, but no orientation-specific LVF advantage. In Experiment 2 subjects with high hemispheric arousal asymmetry showed an orientation-specific LVF advantage, but no expertise-related use of configural coding. Low arousal asymmetry subjects showed the opposite pattern. These results suggest that different kinds of configural coding may underlie ethnicity-related expertise effects and laterality effects in face recognition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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