Publications by authors named "P J Moors"

42 Publications

Combined frequency-tagging EEG and eye-tracking measures provide no support for the "excess mouth/diminished eye attention" hypothesis in autism.

Mol Autism 2020 11 23;11(1):94. Epub 2020 Nov 23.

Center for Developmental Psychiatry, Department of Neurosciences, University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium.

Background: Scanning faces is important for social interactions. Difficulty with the social use of eye contact constitutes one of the clinical symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It has been suggested that individuals with ASD look less at the eyes and more at the mouth than typically developing (TD) individuals, possibly due to gaze aversion or gaze indifference. However, eye-tracking evidence for this hypothesis is mixed. While gaze patterns convey information about overt orienting processes, it is unclear how this is manifested at the neural level and how relative covert attention to the eyes and mouth of faces might be affected in ASD.

Methods: We used frequency-tagging EEG in combination with eye tracking, while participants watched fast flickering faces for 1-min stimulation sequences. The upper and lower halves of the faces were presented at 6 Hz and 7.5 Hz or vice versa in different stimulation sequences, allowing to objectively disentangle the neural saliency of the eyes versus mouth region of a perceived face. We tested 21 boys with ASD (8-12 years old) and 21 TD control boys, matched for age and IQ.

Results: Both groups looked longer at the eyes than the mouth, without any group difference in relative fixation duration to these features. TD boys looked significantly more to the nose, while the ASD boys looked more outside the face. EEG neural saliency data partly followed this pattern: neural responses to the upper or lower face half were not different between groups, but in the TD group, neural responses to the lower face halves were larger than responses to the upper part. Face exploration dynamics showed that TD individuals mostly maintained fixations within the same facial region, whereas individuals with ASD switched more often between the face parts.

Limitations: Replication in large and independent samples may be needed to validate exploratory results.

Conclusions: Combined eye-tracking and frequency-tagged neural responses show no support for the excess mouth/diminished eye gaze hypothesis in ASD. The more exploratory face scanning style observed in ASD might be related to their increased feature-based face processing style.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13229-020-00396-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7686749PMC
November 2020

The benefits of adversarial collaboration for commentaries.

Nat Hum Behav 2020 12;4(12):1217

School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00978-6DOI Listing
December 2020

Can Item Effects Explain Away the Evidence for Unconscious Sound Symbolism? An Adversarial Commentary on Heyman, Maerten, Vankrunkelsven, Voorspoels, and Moors (2019).

Psychol Sci 2020 09 10;31(9):1200-1204. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Department of Methodology and Statistics, Leiden University.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797620949461DOI Listing
September 2020

Contrast versus identity encoding in the face image follow distinct orientation selectivity profiles.

PLoS One 2020 18;15(3):e0229185. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Research Institute for Psychological Science (IPSY), UC Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium.

Orientation selectivity is a fundamental property of primary visual encoding. High-level processing stages also show some form of orientation dependence, with face identification preferentially relying on horizontally-oriented information. How high-level orientation tuning emerges from primary orientation biases is unclear. In the same group of participants, we derived the orientation selectivity profile at primary and high-level visual processing stages using a contrast detection and an identity matching task. To capture the orientation selectivity profile, we calculated the difference in performance between all tested orientations (0, 45, 90, and 135°) for each task and for upright and inverted faces, separately. Primary orientation selectivity was characterized by higher sensitivity to oblique as compared to cardinal orientations. The orientation profile of face identification showed superior horizontal sensitivity to face identity. In each task, performance with upright and inverted faces projected onto qualitatively similar a priori models of orientation selectivity. Yet the fact that the orientation selectivity profiles of contrast detection in upright and inverted faces correlated significantly while such correlation was absent for identification indicates a progressive dissociation of orientation selectivity profiles from primary to high-level stages of orientation encoding. Bayesian analyses further indicate a lack of correlation between the orientation selectivity profiles in the contrast detection and face identification tasks, for upright and inverted faces. From these findings, we conclude that orientation selectivity shows distinct profiles at primary and high-level stages of face processing and that a transformation must occur from general cardinal attenuation when processing basic properties of the face image to horizontal tuning when encoding more complex properties such as identity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0229185PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7080280PMC
June 2020

Individual differences in processing orientation and proximity as emergent features.

Vision Res 2020 04 3;169:12-24. Epub 2020 Mar 3.

Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, Department of Brain and Cognition, KU Leuven, Belgium. Electronic address:

Numerous examples of meaningful inter-individual differences in visual processing have been documented in low- and high-level vision. For mid-level vision or perceptual organization, vision scientists have only recently started to study the inter-individual differences structure. In this study, we focus on orientation and proximity as emergent features and combine a quantitative information processing approach with an individual differences approach. We first replicated the results reported in Hawkins, Houpt, Eidels, and Townsend (2016) in a set of 52 observers. That is, observers showed higher processing capacity for detecting a change in a stimulus configuration when the emergent features orientation or proximity were changed. Next, we asked whether individual differences processing capacities were similar across emergent features. The capacity to detect any type of change correlated moderately across individuals, whereas the capacity to detect changes in either emergent feature alone was not strongly correlated. This indicates that there is no general sensitivity to emergent features and that observers can be good at detecting orientation changes whilst being poor at detecting proximity changes (and vice versa). An additional exploratory multivariate analysis of the data revealed that response times and accuracies correlated strongly within each emergent feature. Moreover, specific factors related to change detection and inward displacements were observed, revealing consistent individual differences in our data. We discuss the results in the context of the literature on individual differences in vision where both specific, fragmented factors as well as broad, general factors have been reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2020.02.002DOI Listing
April 2020
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