Show me the features! Understanding recognition from the use of visual information

P.G. Schyns, E.A. Bonnar, F. Gosselin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

315 Citations (Scopus)


We propose an approach that allows a rigorous understanding of the visual categorization and recognition process without asking direct questions about unobservable memory representations. Our approach builds on the selective use of visual information in recognition and a new method (Bubbles) to depict and measure what this information is. We examine three face-recognition tasks (identity, gender, expressive or not) and establish the componential and holistic information responsible for recognition performance. On the basis of this information, we derive task-specific gradients of probability for the allocation of attention to the different regions of the face.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-409
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • face recognition
  • dependence
  • constraints
  • perception
  • categorization
  • shape-recognition
  • object recognition
  • scenes

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