In the present study, we investigated whether faces have an advantage in retaining attention over other stimulus categories. In three experiments, subjects were asked to focus on a central go/no-go signal before classifying a concurrently presented peripheral line target. In Experiment 1, the go/no-go signal could be superimposed on photographs of upright famous faces, matching inverted faces, or meaningful objects. Experiments 2 and 3 tested upright and inverted unfamiliar faces, printed names, and another class of meaningful objects in an identical design. A fourth experiment provided a replica- tion of Experiment 1, but with a 1,000-msec stimulus onset asynchrony between the onset of the cen- tral face/nonface stimuli and the peripheral targets. In all the experiments, the presence of an upright face significantly delayed target response times, in comparison with each of the other stimulus cat- egories. These results suggest a general attentional bias, so that it is particularly difficult to disengage processing resources from faces
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