No face-like processing for objects-of-expertise in three behavioural tasks

Rachel Robbins*, Elinor McKone

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    255 Citations (Scopus)


    In the debate between expertise and domain-specific explanations of "special" processing for faces, a common belief is that behavioural studies support the expertise hypothesis. The present article refutes this view, via a combination of new data and review. We tested dog experts with confirmed good individuation of exemplars of their breed-of-expertise. In all experiments, standard results were confirmed for faces. However, dog experts showed no face-like processing for dogs on three behavioural tasks (inversion; the composite paradigm; and sensitivity to contrast reversal). The lack of holistic/configural processing, indicated in the first two of these tests, is shown by review to be consistent rather than inconsistent with previous studies of objects-of-expertise.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-79
    Number of pages46
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


    • Composite
    • Configural processing
    • Dog expert
    • Domain specific
    • Expertise
    • Face recognition
    • Holistic processing
    • Inversion


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