Lander K, Bruce V, Rosenblum L D, 2000, "What aspects of facial motion are important for the recognition of familiar faces?" Perception 29 ECVP Abstract Supplement
What aspects of facial motion are important for the recognition of familiar faces?
K Lander, V Bruce, L D Rosenblum
Recent experiments suggest that seeing a familiar face move adds dynamic information for the viewer, useful in the recognition of identity (Knight and Johnston, 1997 Visual Cognition 4 265 - 273; Lander et al, 1999 Memory & Cognition 27 974 - 985). This finding is consistent with the idea that familiar movement patterns, either generally, or of specific faces, aid recognition. It is unclear whether this advantage is due to movement of particular face features, or whether movement of the whole face configuration is important.
Here, we report a number of experiments in which this issue has been investigated. First, recognition of moving and static familiar faces is compared, when viewing just the top or bottom of the face. Motion aids recognition, but the advantage is more pronounced when viewing the bottom half of the face.
Next, we use the Thatcher illusion (Thompson, 1980 Perception 9 483 - 484) to explore the role of face configuration. The eyes and mouth of the face are inverted, with the rest of the image unchanged. The resulting face looks grotesque, but less so when inverted. We describe an experiment that compares the recognition of moving and static thatcherised famous faces, presented both upright and inverted. Motion also aids the recognition of these images.
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