Red background impairs magnocellular contribution to configural face perception
What are the neuro-behavioral mechanisms underlying configural face perception? To examine this question, we explored the role of the magnocellular system in the early stages of face perception. Utilizing the specific property of magnocellular suppression in red light, we investigated visually guided reaching to low and high spatial frequency hybrid faces against red and grey backgrounds. While the curvature of the arm movements did not show significant differences between conditions, a novel modeling approach supports the premise that reduction of the magnocellular pathway response interferes with the low spatial frequency component of face perception. This is the first definitive behavioral evidence for magnocellular contribution to configural face perception.