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Tao W, Sun H (2013) Configural processing in body posture recognition: an eye-tracking study. NeuroReport, 24(16):903-910    
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Abstract
The body inversion effect is the finding that inverted body posture pictures are more difficult to recognize than upright body posture pictures are. The present study reinvestigated the body inversion effect in human observers using behavioral and eye movement measures to explore whether the body inversion effect correlates with specific eye movement features. Results showed that body postures elicited a robust and stable body inversion effect in reaction time throughout the experimental sessions. Eye-tracking data showed that the body inversion effect was robust only in the first fixation duration, but not in the second fixation duration. The analysis of the regions of interest showed that most fixations were located in the upper body for both the upright and the inverted body postures. Compared with inverted body postures, the upright postures led to a shorter reaction time and a shorter first fixation duration, but a larger portion of time to fixate on the head region, suggesting that participants tended to use head as a reference point to process upright body postures. For both the behavioral and the eye movement measures, the body inversion effect was robust for biomechanically possible body postures. However, for biomechanically impossible body postures (with angular manipulation of two joints), the effect was mixed. Although the error rate failed to show the body inversion effect, the reaction time measure and most eye movement measures, however, showed a body inversion effect. Overall, these results suggested that upright body postures are processed in expertise recognition and are processed configurally by human observers