Please wait a minute...
Advances in Psychological Science    2019, Vol. 27 Issue (1) : 27-36     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00027
Regular Articles |
The inversion effect of body recognition
ZHANG Keye1,ZHANG Mingming1,LIU Tiantian2,LUO Wenbo1,HE Weiqi1()
1 Research Center of Brain and Cognitive Neuroscience, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
2 College of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China
Download: PDF(543 KB)   HTML
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks     Supporting Info

The studies for body recognition processing often focus on inverted body. And the body inversion effect refers to the fact that the reaction time to identify the inverted body is longer and the correct rate is lower than that to the upright body. Recently, researchers have used a variety of techniques to examine the effect and its configural processing mechanism, in which there are still controversy about the role of head information. In addition, now available body inversion effect mainly concentrated on the configural processing theory and the configural processing continuum theory, however there are still some discrepancies between the two theories in terms of the subcomponents involved in the configural processing. Further researches, with more special populations involved, can focus on the improvements of relevant theories and the specific role of head information, through using materials of high ecological validity.

Keywords body inversion effect      head information      configural processing theory      configural processing continuum theory     
ZTFLH:  B842  
Issue Date: 23 November 2018
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Mingming ZHANG
Tiantian LIU
Wenbo LUO
Weiqi HE
Cite this article:   
Keye ZHANG,Mingming ZHANG,Tiantian LIU, et al. The inversion effect of body recognition[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(1): 27-36.
URL:     OR
1 陈丽, 李伟霞, 张烨, 张庆林 . (2015). 躯体知觉的认知神经机制. 心理科学,38(1), 85-92.
2 范聪, 陈顺森, 张灵聪, 罗文波 . (2014). 身体表情加工的神经机制. 心理学进展, 4(3), 506-514.
3 陶维东, 孙弘进, 张旭东, 郑剑虹 . (2011). 非面孔物体倒置效应形成过程的认知神经机制. 心理科学进展,19(8), 1104-1114.
4 汪海玲, 傅世敏 . (2011). 面孔倒置效应的研究与理论述评. 心理科学进展,19(11), 1588-1594.
5 汪亚珉, 黄雅梅 . (2011). 面孔识别中的构形加工与特征加工. 心理科学进展,19(8), 1126-1137.
6 Arizpe J. M., Mckean D. L., Tsao J. W ., & Chan , A. W. Y. (2017). Where you look matters for body perception: Preferred gaze location contributes to the body inversion effect. PLoS ONE, 12(1), e0169148.
pmid: 5234795 url:
7 Bentin S., Allison T., Puce A., Perez E., & Mccarthy G . (2009). Electrophysiological studies of face perception in humans. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 8(6), 551-65.
8 Brandman T., & Yovel G. (2010). The body inversion effect is mediated by face-selective, not body-selective, mechanisms. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30(31), 10534-10540.
pmid: 20685996 url:
9 Brandman T., & Yovel G. (2016). Bodies are represented as wholes rather than their sum of parts in the occipital- emporal cortex. Cerebral Cortex, 26(2), 530-543.
pmid: 25217470 url:
10 Cabeza R., & Kato T. (2000). Features are also important: Contributions of featural and configural processing to face recognition. Psychological Science, 11(5), 429-433.
pmid: 11228917 url:
11 Cave C.B., &Kosslyn S.M . (1993). The role of parts and spatial relations in object identification. Perception, 22(2), 229-248.
12 Chang D. H.F., &Troje N.F . (2009). Acceleration carries the local inversion effect in biological motion perception. Journal of Vision, 9(1), 1-17.
pmid: 19271889 url:
13 Cleary L., Looney K., Brady N., & Fitzgerald M . (2014). Inversion effects in the perception of the moving human form: A comparison of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and typically developing adolescents. Autism, 18(8), 943-952.
pmid: 24126867 url:
14 de Gelder B. (2016). Why bodies? In B. de Gelder (Eds.), Emotions and the body (pp. 1-22) . New York, US: Oxford University Press.
15 de Gelder B., Van den Stock J., Meeren H. K. M., Sinke C. B. A., Kret M. E., & Tamietto M . (2010). Standing up for the body. Recent progress in uncovering the networks involved in the perception of bodies and bodily expressions. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 34(4), 513-27.
pmid: 19857515 url:
16 Gauthier I., &Tarr M.J . (1997). Becoming a "Greeble" expert: Exploring mechanisms for face recognition. Vision Research, 37(12), 1673-1682.
17 Gauthier I., Williams P., Tarr M. J., & Tanaka J . (1998). Training 'greeble' experts: A framework for studying expert object recognition processes. Vision Research, 38(15-16), 2401-2428.
18 Le Grand R. L., Mondloch C. J., Maurer D., & Brent H. P . (2001). Neuroperception: Early visual experience and face processing. Nature, 410(6831), 890.
19 Groves K., Kennett S., & Gillmeister H . (2017). Evidence for ERP biomarkers of eating disorder symptoms in women. Biological Psychology, 123, 205-219.
pmid: 28057515 url:
20 Haig N.D . (2013). The effect of feature displacement on face recognition. Perception, 42(11), 1158-1165.
pmid: 6535975 url:
21 Harris A., Vyas D. B., & Reed C. L . (2016). Holistic processing for bodies and body parts: New evidence from stereoscopic depth manipulations. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 23(5), 1513-1519.
pmid: 27001251 url:
22 Itier R.J., &Taylor M.J . (2004 a). Effects of repetition learning on upright, inverted and contrast-reversed face processing using ERPs. NeuroImage, 21(4), 1518-1532.
pmid: 15050576 url:
23 Itier R.J., &Taylor M.J . (2004 b). Face recognition memory and configural processing: A developmental ERP study using upright, inverted, and contrast-reversed faces. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16(3), 487-502.
24 Itier R.J., &Taylor M.J . (2004 c). N170 or N1? Spatiotemporal differences between object and face processing using ERPs. Cerebral Cortex, 14(2), 132-142.
pmid: 14704210 url:
25 Kanwisher N. . (2010). Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(25), 11163-11170.
pmid: 20484679 url:
26 Lefaucheur J. P., André-Obadia N., Antal A., Ayache S. S., Baeken C., Benninger D. H., ... Garcia-Larrea L . (2014). Evidence-based guidelines on the therapeutic use of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Clinical Neurophysiology, 125(11), 2150-2206.
pmid: 25034472 url:
27 Luck S.J . (2014). Overview of common ERP components. In S. J. Luck (Eds.), An introduction to the event-related potential technique(2 ed., pp. 71-117). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT press.
28 Maurer D., Le Grand R., & Mondloch C. J . (2002). The many faces of configural processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 6(6), 255-260.
pmid: 12039607 url:
29 Minnebusch D. A., Suchan B., & Daum I . (2009). Losing your head: Behavioral and electrophysiological effects of body inversion. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21(5), 865-874.
pmid: 1870258142 url:
30 Mohamed T. N., Neumann M. F., & Schweinberger S. R . (2011). Combined effects of attention and inversion on event-related potentials to human bodies and faces. Cognitive Neuroscience, 2(3-4), 138-146.
pmid: 24168528 url:
31 Papeo L., Stein T., & Soto-Faraco S . (2017). The two-body inversion effect. Psychological Science, 28(3), 369-379.
pmid: 28140764 url:
32 Peelen M.V., &Downing P.E . (2007). The neural basis of visual body perception. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8(8), 636-648.
pmid: 17643089 url:
33 Reed C. L., Beall P. M., Stone V. E., Kopelioff L., Pulham D. J., & Hepburn S. L . (2007). Brief report: Perception of body posture-What individuals with autism spectrum disorder might be missing. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37(8), 1576-1584.
pmid: 17029019 url:
34 Reed C. L., Stone V. E., Bozova S., & Tanaka J . (2003). The body-inversion effect. Psychological Science, 14(4), 302-308.
35 Reed C. L., Stone V. E., Grubb J. D., & Mcgoldrick J. E . (2006). Turning configural processing upside down: Part and whole body postures. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 32(1), 73-87.
pmid: 16478327 url:
36 Rezlescu C., Susilo T., Wilmer J. B., & Caramazza A . (2017). The inversion, part-whole, and composite effects reflect distinct perceptual mechanisms with varied relationships to face recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance,43(12), 1961-1973.
pmid: 28406690 url:
37 Righart R., & de Gelder B. (2007). Impaired face and body perception in developmental prosopagnosia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(43), 17234-17238.
pmid: 17942679 url:
38 Rivolta D., Lawson R. P., & Palermo R . (2016). More than just a problem with faces: Altered body perception in a group of congenital prosopagnosics. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 70(2), 276-286.
pmid: 27049475 url:
39 Robbins R.A., & Coltheart M. (2012). The effects of inversion and familiarity on face versus body cues to person recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 38(5), 1098-1104.
pmid: 22642217 url:
40 Rossion B., & Jacques C. (2008). Does physical interstimulus variance account for early electrophysiological face sensitive responses in the human brain? Ten lessons on the N170. NeuroImage, 39(4), 1959-1979.
pmid: 18055223 url:
41 Shao H. Y., Weng X. C., & He S . (2017). Functional organization of the face-sensitive areas in human occipital-temporal cortex. NeuroImage, 157, 129-143.
pmid: 28572061 url:
42 Soria Bauser, D., & Suchan B. (2013). Behavioral and electrophysiological correlates of intact and scrambled body perception. Clinical Neurophysiology, 124(4), 686-696.
pmid: 23375380 url:
43 Soria B.D., & Suchan B. (2015). Is the whole the sum of its parts? Configural processing of headless bodies in the right fusiform gyrus. Behavioural Brain Research, 281, 102-110.
pmid: 25510195 url:
44 Stein T., Sterzer P., & Peelen M. V . (2012). Privileged detection of conspecifics: Evidence from inversion effects during continuous flash suppression. Cognition, 125(1), 64-79.
pmid: 22776239 url:
45 Stekelenburg J.J., & de Gelder B. (2004). The neural correlates of perceiving human bodies: An ERP study on the body-inversion effect. Neuroreport, 15(5), 777-780.
pmid: 15073513 url:
46 Susilo T., Yovel G., Barton J. J. S., & Duchaine B . (2013). Face perception is category-specific: Evidence from normal body perception in acquired prosopagnosia. Cognition, 129(1), 88-94.
pmid: 23856076 url:
47 Tanaka J.W., &Farah M.J . (1993). Parts and wholes in face recognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology A: Human Experimental Psychology, 46(2), 225-245.
pmid: 8316637 url:
48 Tao W.D., &Sun H.J . (2013). Configural processing in body posture recognition: An eye-tracking study. Neuroreport, 24(16), 903-910.
pmid: 24071707 url:
49 Tao W. D., Zeng W. X., & Sun H. J . (2014). Behavioral and electrophysiological measures of the body inversion effect: The contribution of the limb configurations. Neuroreport, 25(14), 1099-1108.
pmid: 25076068 url:
50 Taylor J. C., Wiggett A. J., & Downing P. E . (2007). Functional MRI analysis of body and body part representations in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas. Journal of Neurophysiology, 98(3), 1626-1633.
pmid: 17596425 url:
51 Urgesi C., Calvo-Merino B., Haggard P., & Aglioti S. M . (2007). Transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals two cortical pathways for visual body processing. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(30), 8023-8030.
pmid: 17652592 url:
52 Urgesi C., Fornasari L., Canalaz F., Perini L., Cremaschi S., Faleschini L., .. Fabbro F . (2014). Impaired configural body processing in anorexia nervosa: Evidence from the body inversion effect. British Journal of Psychology, 105(4), 486-508.
pmid: 24206365 url:
53 Willems S., Vrancken L., Germeys F., & Verfaillie K . (2014). Holistic processing of human body postures: Evidence from the composite effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(7), 618.
pmid: 24999337 url:
54 Yin R.K . (1969). Looking at upside-down faces. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 81(1), 141-145.
55 Yovel G., & Kanwisher N. (2005). The neural basis of the behavioral face-inversion effect. Current Biology, 15(24), 2256-2262.
56 Yovel G., Pelc T., & Lubetzky I . (2010). It's all in your head: Why is the body inversion effect abolished for headless bodies? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(3), 759-767.
pmid: 20515202 url:
[1] ZHANG Hengchao. Communicative gesture cognition theory[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(3): 499-507.
[2] JING Wei, WANG Tingzhao. The gaze processing impairment in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: A perspective from the two-process theory[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(3): 508-521.
[3] LIU Zejun, WANG Yujuan, GUO Chunyan. Investigating the item recognition in associative memory: A unitization perspective[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(3): 490-498.
[4] JI Yuzhu, BI Hongyan. The noise exclusion deficit in developmental dyslexia[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(2): 201-208.
[5] YANG Lianlian, HUANG Xiting, LIU Peiduo, YUE Tong. The dynamic characteristic and mental mechanism of retrospective duration estimation[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(2): 221-229.
[6] CHENG Kai-Wen, DENG Yan-Hui, YAN Hong-Mei. Second language learning and brain plasticity[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(2): 209-220.
[7] ZHAO Jing. Skills of visual attention span in developmental dyslexia[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(1): 20-26.
[8] CHEN Xiaoxi,CHEN Fengling,LI Bin,LIU Yaozhong. The influence of curiosity on inspiration: Phenomenon and mechanism based on cognitive and affect processes[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(1): 1-10.
[9] ZANG Chuanli,LU Zijia,ZHANG Zhichao. The role of semantic and syntactic information in parafoveal prcoessing during reading[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(1): 11-19.
[10] ZHAO Peiqiong,CHEN Wei,ZHANG Jing,PING Xianjie. The rubber hand illusion (RHI): The experimental paradigm of sense of ownership and its application[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2019, 27(1): 37-50.
[11] Xing PENG,Ruosong CHANG,Guiqin REN,Aijun WANG,Xiaoyu TANG. The interaction between exogenous attention and multisensory integration[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(12): 2129-2140.
[12] Shimin FU, Xiaowen CHEN, Yuqi LIU. Research debate: Does spatial attention modulate C1 component?[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(11): 1901-1914.
[13] Xiaoxiao LUO,Guanlan KANG,Xiaolin ZHOU. The influential factors and neural mechanisms of McGurk effect[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(11): 1935-1951.
[14] Hao WANG,Zhigang YANG. Face pareidolia and its neural mechanism[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(11): 1952-1960.
[15] Jin XU,Hong LI,Yi LEI. Effects of emotional context information on ambiguous expression recognition and the underlying mechanisms[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(11): 1961-1968.
Full text



Copyright © Advances in Psychological Science
Support by Beijing Magtech