Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Favelle, S. K., Palmisano, S. & Avery, G. (2011). Face viewpoint effects about three axes: the role of configural and featural processing. Perception, 40 (7), 761-784.


We directly compared recognition for faces following 0° – 75° viewpoint rotation about the yaw, pitch, and roll axes. The aim was to determine the extent to which configural and featural information supported face recognition following rotations about each of these axes. Experiment 1 showed that performance on a sequential-matching task was viewpoint-dependent for all three types of rotation. The best face-recognition accuracy and shortest reaction time was found for roll rotations, then for yaw rotations, and finally the worst accuracy and slowest reaction time was found for pitch rotations. Directional differences in recognition were found for pitch rotations, but not for roll or yaw. Experiment 2 provided evidence that, in all three cases, viewpoint-dependent declines in recognition were primarily driven by the loss of configural information. However, it also appeared that significant featural information was lost following yaw and pitch (but not roll) rotations. Together, these findings show that unfamiliar-face recognition is viewpoint-dependent following rotation about each axis (and in each direction), and that performance is based on the availability of configural and, to a lesser extent, featural information.




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