Date of Graduation

Summer 2016


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

D. Wayne Mitchell


Facial recognition has been long held as a special perceptual process at which humans excel, and is primarily a function of perceptual experience. However, there are experimental manipulations that impede this perceptual process and make it more difficult for humans to recognize the face (i.e. only presenting half a face or inverting the face). In the case of inversion, it is though that the inverted face interrupts a person's ability to process the face holistically and forces a change to featural processing. The purpose of this experiment was to examine if inversion of ecologically valid images would also impact recognition memory. In this study, individual differences in adult participant's natural propensity to scan, recognition memory response latency, and recall memory for upright and inverted urban and office scenes was investigated. Overall, using a 2 (Group: Upright versus Inverted) x 3 (Trail Block) design, it was found that visual scanning rate tended to be faster for upright versus inverted images, recognition memory response latencies were significantly slower for inverted images, and rates of fixation tended to decrease across trial blocks. However, differences in fixation rates arose when assessing natural propensities to scan and during the item recall task.


visual scanning, ecological stimuli, recognition memory, scene perception, individual differences

Subject Categories



© Benjamin Lee Graves

Open Access

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