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**Abstract** In recent years, there has been growing interest in how we perceive dyadic interactions between people. It has been proposed that pairs of individuals shown upright and face-to- face recruit a form of configural processing, analogous to that engaged by faces. This processing is thought to aid the detection and interpretation of social interactions. Dyadic arrangements shown back-to-back or upside-down are not thought to engage configural dyad processing. This account is not universally accepted, however. A different perspective is that behavioural effects attributed to configural dyad processing reflect the differential arrangement of attention cues in face-to-face and back-to-back dyadic arrangements, rather than true configural processing. One of the key advantages conveyed by configural processing is greater sensitivity to the spatial relationships between component features. If upright dyads arranged face-to-face engage configural processing not engaged by non- facing or inverted dyads, participants should exhibit disproportionate sensitivity to the spatial relations between the actors under these conditions. In four well-powered experiments, we find no evidence for this prediction. Instead, participants exhibited similar levels of sensitivity to changes in interpersonal distance regardless of whether dyads were shown upright or inverted, face-to-face or back-to-back. Moreover, we observed strong correlations between participants’ sensitivity to distance changes in the different viewing conditions. These results suggest that the perceptual mechanisms recruited by upright and inverted, facing and non- facing dyads, likely exhibit considerable overlap.
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