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      Perceiver bias in the processing of human faces: neuropsychological mechanisms.

      Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior

      Adult, Analysis of Variance, Biomechanical Phenomena, Brain, physiology, Face, Facial Asymmetry, Female, Form Perception, Humans, Individuality, Male, Psychophysics

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          Abstract

          Previous research has suggested that in face-to-face contexts perceivers are biased to judge the side of the poser's face to their left as more similar to the full face than the side to their right. Traditional explanations of the perceiver bias have presumed that it is a visual field effect, with the side of the poser's face falling within the perceiver's left visual field dominating impressions of the full face. In this study, five experiments are reported. In the first experiment, the validity of the perceiver bias phenomenon was supported. The remaining experiments examined three alternative accounts of the neuropsychological processes that underlie the perceiver bias. No support was obtained for the visual field explanation, nor for an account of the bias as due to asymmetry in gaze patterns. Support was obtained for an account emphasizing a hemispatial bias in central processing. Despite equivalent intake of information from both sides of space, the brain may differentially weight information as a function of hemispatial origin. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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