- Not just another face in the crowd
- detecting emotional schematic faces during continuous flash suppression
- Volume | Issue number
- 12 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
To test whether threatening visual information receives prioritized processing, many studies have examined visual search for emotional schematic faces. Still, it has remained unclear whether negative or positive schematic faces are processed more efficiently. We used continuous flash suppression, a variant of binocular rivalry, to render single emotional schematic faces invisible and measured whether negative or positive faces have an advantage in accessing awareness. Across three experiments, positive faces were detected more quickly than negative faces. A fourth experiment indicated that this positive face advantage was unrelated to the valence of the face stimuli but due to the relative orientation of the mouth curvature and the face contour. These findings demonstrate the impact of configural stimulus properties on perceptual suppression during binocular rivalry and point to a perceptual confound present in emotional schematic faces that might account for some ambiguous results obtained with schematic face stimuli in previous studies.
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