Upright faces are thought to be processed holistically. However, the range of views within
which holistic processing occurs is unknown. Recent research by McKone (2008) suggests
that holistic processing occurs for all yaw-rotated face views (i.e., full-face through to profile).
Herewe examined whether holistic processing occurs for pitch, aswell as yaw, rotated
face views. In this face recognition experiment: (i) participants made same/different judgments
about two sequentially presented faces (either both upright or both inverted); (ii) the
test face was pitch/yaw rotated by between 0° and 75° from the encoding face (always a
full-face view). Our logic was as follows: if a particular pitch/yaw-rotated face view is being
processed holistically when upright, then this processing should be disrupted by inversion.
Consistent with previous research, significant face inversion effects (FIEs) were found for
all yaw-rotated views. However, while FIEs were found for pitch rotations up to 45°, none
were observed for 75° pitch rotations (rotated either above or below the full face). We
conclude that holistic processing does not occur for all views of upright faces (e.g., not
for uncommon pitch rotated views), only those that can be matched to a generic global
representation of a face.