Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

Effects of Distinctiveness, Repetition and Semantic Priming on the Recognition of Face Familiarity

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology

Effects of Distinctiveness, Repetition and Semantic Priming on the Recognition of Face Familiarity

Article excerpt

Abstract Three experiments are reported which provide evidence for the independence of effects of repetition from those of distinctiveness and semantic priming in the recognition of familiar faces. In Experiment 1, repetition priming is shown to be additive with face distinctiveness in a face familiarity decision task, where subjects make speeded familiarity decisions to a sequence of famous and unfamiliar faces. Experiment 2 examines the combined effects of distinctiveness and semantic priming. The results suggest that the effect of distinctiveness is additive with that of semantic priming. Experiment 3 uses a more powerful design in which effects of distinctiveness and semantic priming were assessed while all items were repeated three times during the course of the experiment. Effects of repetition and distinctiveness were again additive, as were effects of repetition and semantic priming. Distinctiveness and semantic priming were additive at 1000 ms SOA, though appeared to interact at 250 ms SOA. The results give further evidence for the separation of the mechanisms of semantic from repetition priming, and furthermore suggest that distinctiveness operates at a different locus from those of either of the priming mechanisms.

Resume Les trois experiences que nous avons realisees demontrent que les effets de repetition ne dependent pas de ceux que produisent la particularite et l'amorcage semantique dans l'identification de visages familiers. L'experience 1, ou les sujets devaient decider rapidement si des visages connus ou non et presentes tour a tour leur etaient familiers, montre que l'amorcage de repetition s'additionne a la particularite des visages. L'experience 2 portait sur les effets conjugues de la particularite et de l'amorcage semantique. Les resultats obtenus nous portent a croire que l'effet de particularite s'additionne a celui de l'amorcage semantique. Pour l'experience 3, nous avons utilise une formule plus elaboree suivant laquelle les effets de la particularite et de l'amorcage semantique etaient evalues, tandis que tous les elements etaient repetes trois fois au cours de l'experience. Les effets de repetition et de particularite s'additionnaient encore une fois, tout comme ceux de la repetition et de l'amorcage semantique. La particularite et l'amorcage semantique s'additionnaient a 1 000 ms (SOA), bien qu'ils semblaient interagir a 250 ms (SOA). Les resultats demontrent encore que l'amorcage semantique est distinct de l'amorcage de repetition. De plus, ils laissent supposer que la particularite intervient ailleurs qu'aux endroits ou sont actives les deux mecanismes d'amorcage.

During the past few years, theoretical understanding of face recognition has been greatly advanced by methods of study which apply techniques devised to study reading to the speeded recognition of familiar faces (e.g., see Bruce, 1988, for a review). Factors affecting the recognition of faces can be studied by employing the "face familiarity decision task" (Bruce, 1983) which has a similar logic to that of the lexical decision task used to probe skilled word recognition: subjects respond positively if a face (usually a celebrity) is familiar, and negatively if it is unfamiliar. Unfamiliar faces are drawn from similar sources to those used to generate familiar items (e.g., "back - bench" politicians or models from hairdressing magazines can be used as unfamiliar faces where targets are famous politicians and actors). The dependent variable of interest is the latency to recognise the familiar faces, with unfamiliars presented to create the task demands.

Using this task it has been demonstrated that face recognition is affected by repetition and semantic priming in a manner similar to that demonstrated for word and object recognition (e.g., Bruce & Valentine, 1985, 1986; Bruce, 1986; A. Ellis, Young, Flude & Hay, 1987; A. Ellis, Young & Flude, 1990; Young, Hellawell & De Haan, 1987). To summarise, face recognition is facilitated by a long - lasting repetition effect which is obtained by earlier exposure to the same or a different view of the familiar person's face but not by exposure to the person's name or a picture of their body (A. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.