Inversion Effect of Hand Postures: Effect of Visual Experience Over Long and Short Term Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Some researchers argue that holistic processing is unique to face recognition supported by the face inversion effect. However, findings such as the body inversion effect challenge the face processing-specificity hypothesis, thus supporting the expertise hypothesis. Few studies have explored a possible hand inversion effect which could involve special processing similar to the face and body. We conducted four experiments to investigate the time course and flexibility of the hand posture inversion effect. We utilized a same/different discrimination task (Experiments 1 and 2), an identification task (Experiment 3), and a training paradigm involving the exposure of different hand orientations (Experiment 4). The results show the hand posture inversion effect (with fingers up as upright orientation) was not initially observed during the early phase of testing, but occurred in later phases. This suggests that both lifetime experience and recent exposure affect the hand posture inversion effect. We also found the hand posture inversion effect, once established, was stable across days and remained consistent across different tasks. In addition, the hand posture inversion effect for specific orientations could be obtained with short-term training of a given orientation, indicating the cognitive process is flexible.


  • Tao, Weidong
  • Xu, Zhen
  • Zhao, Dongchi
  • Wang, Chao
  • Wang, QiangQiang
  • Britt, Noah
  • Tao, Xaoli
  • Sun, Hongjin

publication date

  • May 2022