Task and Exposure Time Modulate Laterality of Spatial Frequency for Faces

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The present study psychophysically investigated the laterality of low spatial frequencies (LSFs) and high spatial frequencies (HSFs) during face recognition at different exposure times. Spatial frequency–filtered faces were presented in a divided visual field at high and low temporal constraints in 2 tasks: face recognition (Experiment 1) and face gender recognition (Experiment 2). Both experiments revealed general primacy in the recognition of LSF over HSF faces. In Experiment 1, LSF and HSF facial information was more efficiently processed in the right and left hemispheres, respectively, and exposure time had no effect. Experiment 2 showed right hemisphere asymmetry for LSF faces at a low temporal constraint. These results suggest that the spatial frequency processing for face recognition is lateralized in the brain hemispheres. However, the contributions of LSFs and HSFs depend on the task and exposure time.

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