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Perceptual learning in face processing: comparison facilitates face recognition

Dwyer, Dominic M. ORCID: and Vladeanu, Matei Catalin 2009. Perceptual learning in face processing: comparison facilitates face recognition. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 62 (10) , pp. 2055-2067. 10.1080/17470210802661736

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Theoretical analyses of perceptual learning suggest that comparison between similar stimuli aids subsequent discrimination between them. The current studies examined whether the opportunity to compare a target face to other similar faces during a preexposure phase facilitated performance on a matching task. Performance was better when the target face had been presented in alternation with similar comparator faces than if that target had not been exposed before test. Exposure to the target face without comparators, or exposure alternating with dissimilar faces, improved performance relative to the nonexposed control but performance was not as good as when target exposure was given in alternation to similar comparison faces. The effects were not influenced by image changes between exposure and test. It is suggested that exposure to a face in comparison to similar stimuli focuses the central representation of a face on its unique features. In practical terms these results suggest that reliable identification of an individual from their photograph would be improved by viewing that photograph in comparison with photographs of similar people.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Perceptual learning; Faces; Adaptation; Identification; Applied
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1747-0218
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:26

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