Young A W, Hay D C, McWeeny K H, Flude B M, Ellis A W, 1985, "Matching familiar and unfamiliar faces on internal and external features" Perception 14(6) 737 – 746
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Matching familiar and unfamiliar faces on internal and external features
Andrew W Young, Dennis C Hay, Kathryn H McWeeny, Brenda M Flude, Andrew W Ellis
Received 8 August 1985, in revised form 26 September 1985
Abstract. Two experiments are reported in which subjects were asked to match a photograph of a complete face and a simultaneously presented photograph of internal or external features of a face, deciding whether or not the two photographs were pictures of the same person. In experiment 1 'same' pairs were derived from different pictures of the same face, so that subjects had to match the faces and not the particular photographs used. Matches based on internal features were found to be faster for familiar than for unfamiliar faces, whereas there was no difference in reaction time between matches based on the external features of familiar and unfamiliar faces. Faster matching of internal features of familiar faces was found to hold equally for pairs of photographs that differed in orientation of the face or in facial expression. In experiment 2 'same' pairs were derived from the same photograph, which gave subjects the choice of matching on the basis of the features of the depicted faces or matching the photographs. Reaction times were faster than in experiment 1, and there were no differences between familiar and unfamiliar faces. The study confirms reports of differential saliency of the internal features of familiar faces, and shows that this only holds when stimuli are treated as faces. The finding thus reflects properties of structural rather than pictorial codes.
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