Does response interference contribute to face composite effects?

Jennifer J. Richler, Olivia S. Cheung, Alan C.N. Wong, Isabel Gauthier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Holistic processing of faces can be measured as a failure of selective attention to one face-half under instructions to ignore the other face-half in a naming or same/different matching task. But is interference from the irrelevant half due to response interference rather than to holistic processing? Here, participants learned to name two faces "Fred" and two "Bob." At test, composites were created from top and bottom halves of different learned faces or of a novel face, and composites were either aligned or misaligned. Naming was slower when the irrelevant half was from a different face as opposed to the same face, regardless of whether it was associated with the same name, a different name, or no name, suggesting holistic processing. Interference was eliminated when composite halves were misaligned. These results suggest that, unlike Stroop effects, composite effects are not due to response interference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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