[Truncated] A face conveys a wealth of information - identity, mood, direction of eye gaze, race, gender and age. This thesis investigates the role of visual attention in detecting and identifying faces. Part I contains a general introduction to the field of study and reviews research investigating whether face processing is anatomically and functionally special. A review of studies examining the influence of attention on face perception is also included. Part II consists of a series of four experiments investigating the effects of divided attention upon the holistic coding of centrally presented target faces. Holistic coding was measured with a variant of the part-whole paradigm devised by Tanaka and Farah (1993). Despite the presence of to-be-ignored flanker faces, holistic coding was evident when full attention could be allocated to the target face. In the divided attention conditions, holistic encoding of the target face was disrupted when participants matched two upright flanker faces, but not when inverted flanker faces were matched.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2002|