ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (3): 236-247.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00236

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

An eyes region-specific cross-dimension covariation enhancement effect in facial configural and featural information change detection

WANG Zhe, CHEN Yachun, LIU Wanpeng, SUN Yu-Hao P()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou 310018, China
  • Received:2021-03-09 Published:2022-03-25 Online:2022-01-25
  • Contact: SUN Yu-Hao P
  • Supported by:
    Zhejiang Natural Science Foundation Project(LY19C090006);Zhejiang Natural Science Foundation Project(LY20C090010)


Multi-dimension information integration may occur in face perception on the regional scale. However, there is no specific experimental evidence so far. In this study, the single-dimension configural or featural information in eyes region or mouth region of a face was manipulated. In two experiments, we measured participants’ sensitivity to single-dimension changes or cross-dimension covariation and detected multi-dimension information integration on the face region level. We obtained three findings: (1) detecting the information change in eyes region for upright faces showed a “cross-dimension covariation enhancement effect”, referring to that the sensitivity to cross-dimension information covariation is significantly higher than that to any single-dimension information change; (2) “Cross-dimension covariation enhancement effect” only appears in eyes region in upright faces, not in eyes region in inverted faces, nor in the mouth region in upright or inverted faces, supporting face-region specificity and face-orientation specificity; (3) the sensitivity to single-dimension information changes in eyes region was not damaged by face inversion, but mouth region was. The above effect on the face-region level is not a universal information amount effect but is specific in facial information integration (only occurring in the eye region of an upright face). The results suggest that our understanding of the perceptual integration of multi-dimension information in the whole face could be extended to an eye-centered hierarchical multi-dimension information integration mechanism.

Key words: face perception, holistic processing, change detection, differential threshold, eye specificity