Change detection in the flicker paradigm: Do faces have an advantage?

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Changes to a scene that occur during an eye movement, image flicker, or movie cut are difficult to detect. One way to measure change detection performance is with the flicker paradigm, where changes between two images are introduced during a brief blank screen, which causes the images to "flicker". Ro, Russell, and Lavie (2001) presented flickering displays consisting of one face and five different common objects. They found that changes to faces were detected both more rapidly and more accurately than changes to objects and suggested that faces capture attention due to their biological significance. In the present studies, we found that changes to objects were more readily detected than changes to faces when displays consisted of an object among a number of faces. That is, a change detection advantage was observed for the "odd-one-out" in the array, regardless of its significance. Therefore, faces may not have a special status for change detection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-713
JournalVisual Cognition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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