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The Interaction of Faces in Foveal and Peripheral Vision
AdvisorWebster, Michael A.
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Facial perception is a well-explored topic in scientific history. As humans have developed the ability to process facial features as early as five days old. Facial perception is crucial to human development and social interaction. Human vision is best in the foveal region, while it is seen to decline in the peripheries. Basic stimuli such as shapes and figures have been studied in the foveal and peripheral vision. Very little information is known about facial perception in the foveal and peripheral areas. Is face perception specialized for vision in the fovea? Is there interaction between faces in the fovea and the periphery? Three experiments were designed to study four eccentricities. Each experiment studied the average accuracy of the participants determining the gender of the foveal stimuli at fixation and in the surround. The participants included college students at the University of Nevada, Reno. Overall, we witnessed a significant effect in accuracy based on the peripheral and far peripheral eccentricities. Contrast effects in face perception show an absence of an effect which is typically significant in most stimuli. The results from this study suggest that facial perception requires a higher level of brain processing.