The roles of visual expertise and visual input in the face inversion effect:Behavioural and neurocomputational evidence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • L Zhang
  • L Ge
  • Z Wang
  • EM Christainsen
  • K Lee
  • GW Cottrell

Colleges, School and Institutes


Research has shown that inverting faces significantly disrupts the processing of configural information, leading to a face inversion effect. We recently used a contextual priming technique to show that the presence or absence of the face inversion effect can be determined via the top-down activation of face versus non-face processing systems [Ge, L., Wang, Z., McCleery, J., & Lee, K. (2006). Activation of face expertise and the inversion effect. Psychological Science, 17(1), 12-16]. In the current study, we replicate these findings using the same technique but under different conditions. We then extend these findings through the application of a neural network model of face and Chinese character expertise systems. Results provide support for the hypothesis that a specialized face expertise system develops through extensive training of the visual system with upright faces, and that top-down mechanisms are capable of influencing when this face expertise system is engaged.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-715
Number of pages13
JournalVision Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008