Individual differences in (non-visual) processing style predict the face inversion effect

Natalie A. Wyer, Douglas Martin, Tracey Pickup, C. Neil Macrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research suggests that individuals with relatively weak global precedence (i.e., a smaller propensity to view visual stimuli in a configural manner) show a reduced face inversion effect (FIE). Coupled with such findings, a number of recent studies have demonstrated links between an advantage for feature-based processing and the presentation of traits associated with autism among the general population. The present study sought to bridge these findings by investigating whether a relationship exists between the possession of autism-associated traits (i.e., as indicated by individualsautism quotient [(AQ) and the size of the FIE. Participants completed an on-line study in which the AQ was measured prior to a standard face recognition task where half of the faces were inverted at test. The results confirmed that higher AQ levels were predictive of smaller FIEs. Implications for a common underlying factor relating to processing orientation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number2
Early online date23 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Autism-spectrum quotient
  • Face inversion effect
  • Configural versus feature-based processing

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