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Face identification in the near-absence of focal attention

Reddy, Leila and Reddy, Lavanya and Koch, Christof (2006) Face identification in the near-absence of focal attention. Vision Research, 46 (15). pp. 2336-2343. ISSN 0042-6989.

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In contrast to artificial geometric shapes, natural scenes and face-gender can be processed even when spatial attention is not fully available. In this study, we investigate whether a finer discrimination, at the level of the individual, is possible in the near-absence of focal attention. Using the paradigm, subjects performed face identification on faces of celebrities and relatively unfamiliar individual, along with a task that is known to engage spatial attention. We find that face-identification performance is only modestly impaired under dual-task conditions. These results suggest that the visual system is well able to make complex judgments of natural stimuli, even when attention is not full available.

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Additional Information:Received 12 September 2005; received in revised form 6 January 2006. c2006 Elsevier Ltd. We thank Pietro Perona for several helpful discussions and for suggesting Experiment 4, and Rufin VanRullen for comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the NSF (the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering), the NIMH, and the Keck Foundation.
Group:Koch Laboratory, KLAB
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Attention; Face identification; Dual-task paradigm; Famous faces
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130816-103350116
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Official Citation:Leila Reddy, Lavanya Reddy, Christof Koch, Face identification in the near-absence of focal attention, Vision Research, Volume 46, Issue 15, July 2006, Pages 2336-2343, ISSN 0042-6989, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:40655
Deposited By: KLAB Import
Deposited On:28 May 2008 02:18
Last Modified:16 Sep 2013 23:09

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