Interference between face and non-face domains of perceptual expertise: a replication and extension

Kim M. Curby*, Isabel Gauthier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


As car expertise increases, so does interference between the visual processing of faces and that of cars; this suggests performance trade-offs across domains of real-world expertise. Such interference between expert domains has been previously revealed in a relatively complex design, interleaving 2-back part-judgment task with faces and cars (Gauthier et al., 2003). However, the basis of this interference is unclear. Experiment 1A replicated the finding of interference between faces and cars, as a function of car expertise. Experiments 1B and 2 investigated the mechanisms underlying this effect by (1) providing baseline measures of performance and (2) assessing the specificity of this interference effect. Our findings support the presence of expertise-dependent interference between face and non-face domains of expertise. However, surprisingly, it is in the condition where faces are processed among cars with a disrupted configuration where expertise has a greater influence on faces. This finding highlights how expertise-related processing changes also occur for transformed objects of expertise and that such changes can also drive interference across domains of expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number955
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2014

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