The Role of Spatial Frequency Information in Face Classification by Race

Article English OPEN
Zhang, Guoping ; Wang, Zeyao ; Wu, Jie ; Zhao, Lun (2017)
  • Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
  • Journal: Frontiers in Psychology, volume 8 (issn: 1664-1078, eissn: 1664-1078)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01152, pmc: PMC5609628
  • Subject: Psychology | face classification | other-race advantage | Original Research | faces’ race | spatial frequency

It was found that face classification by race is more quickly for other-race than own-race faces (other-race classification advantage, ORCA). Controlling the spatial frequencies of face images, the current study investigated the perceptual processing differences based on spatial frequencies between own-race and other-race faces that might account for the ORCA. Regardless of the races of the observers, the own-race faces were classified faster and more accurately for broad-band faces than for both lower and higher spatial frequency (SF) faces, whereas, although other-race faces were classified less accurately for higher SF than for either broad-band or lower SF faces, there was no difference between broad-band and lower SF conditions of other-race faces. Although it was not evident for higher SF condition, the ORCA was more evident for lower SF than that for broad-band faces. The present data indicate that global/configural information is needed for subordinate race categorization of faces and that an important source of ORCA is application of global/configural computations by default while categorizing an own-race face but not while categorizing an other-race face.
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