differential inversion effect

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The relatively greater decrease in recognizability resulting from inverting images of human faces compared to images of other objects. The effect is not peculiar to faces, as was initially believed when it was discovered in 1969 by the US psychologist Robert Kuo-Zuir Yin (born 1931), but is found with other classes of stimuli that are recognizably different only to viewers who have expert knowledge of them, as when experts on sporting dogs view inverted profiles of dogs. See also Margaret Thatcher illusion. Compare caricature advantage.

Subjects: Psychology.

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