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Learning own- and other-race facial identities from natural variability.

Tüttenberg, Simone C. and Wiese, Holger (2019) 'Learning own- and other-race facial identities from natural variability.', Quarterly journal of experimental psychology., 72 (12). pp. 2788-2800.


Exposure to multiple varying face images of the same person encourages the formation of identity representations which are sufficiently robust to allow subsequent recognition from new, never-before seen images. While recent studies suggest that identity information is initially harder to perceive in images of other- relative to own-race identities, it remains unclear whether these difficulties propagate to face learning, that is, to the formation of robust face representations. We report two experiments in which Caucasian and East Asian participants sorted multiple images of own- and other-race persons according to identity in an implicit learning task and subsequently either matched novel images of learnt and previously unseen faces for identity (Experiment 1) or made old/new decisions for new images of learnt and unfamiliar identities (Experiment 2). Caucasian participants demonstrated own-race advantages during sorting, matching, and old/new recognition, while corresponding effects were absent in East Asian participants with substantial other-race expertise. Surprisingly, East Asian participants showed enhanced learning for other-race identities during matching in Experiment 1, which may reflect their increased motivation to individuate other-race faces. Thus, our results highlight the importance of perceptual expertise for own- and other-race processing, but may also lend support to recent suggestions on how expertise and socio-cognitive factors can interact.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:Tüttenberg, Simone C & Wiese, Holger (2019). Learning own- and other-race facial identities from natural variability. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 72(12): 2788-2800. Copyright © 2019 Experimental Psychology Society. DOI: 10.1177/1747021819859840
Date accepted:05 June 2019
Date deposited:11 June 2019
Date of first online publication:09 July 2019
Date first made open access:No date available

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