- The Two-Body Inversion Effect
- Psychological Science
- Volume | Issue number
- 28 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
How does one perceive groups of people? It is known that functionally interacting objects (e.g., a glass and a pitcher tilted as if pouring water into it) are perceptually grouped. Here, we showed that processing of multiple human bodies is also influenced by their relative positioning. In a series of categorization experiments, bodies facing each other (seemingly interacting) were recognized more accurately than bodies facing away from each other (noninteracting). Moreover, recognition of facing body dyads (but not nonfacing body dyads) was strongly impaired when those stimuli were inverted, similar to what has been found for individual bodies. This inversion effect demonstrates sensitivity of the visual system to facing body dyads in their common upright configuration and might imply recruitment of configural processing (i.e., processing of the overall body configuration without prior part-by-part analysis). These findings suggest that facing dyads are represented as one structured unit, which may be the intermediate level of representation between multiple-object (body) perception and representation of social actions.
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