Learning Faces: Similar Comparator Faces Do Not Improve Performance

Matthews, William J. and Jones, Scott P. and Dwyer, Dominic M. and Lewis, Michael B. (2015) Learning Faces: Similar Comparator Faces Do Not Improve Performance. PLOS ONE, 10 (1). e0116707. ISSN 1932-6203

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0116707


Recent evidence indicates that comparison of two similar faces can aid subsequent discrimination between them. However, the fact that discrimination between two faces is facilitated by comparing them directly does not demonstrate that comparison produces a general improvement in the processing of faces. It remains an open question whether the opportunity to compare a “target” face to similar faces can facilitate the discrimination of the exposed target face from other nonexposed faces. In Experiment 1, selection of a target face from an array of novel foils was not facilitated by intermixed exposure to the target and comparators of the same sex. Experiment 2 also found no advantage for similar comparators (morphed towards the target) over unmorphed same sex comparators, or over repeated target exposure alone. But all repeated exposure conditions produced better performance than a single brief presentation of the target. Experiment 3 again demonstrated that repeated exposure produced equivalent learning in same sex and different sex comparator conditions, and also showed that increasing the number of same sex or different sex comparators failed to improve identification. In all three experiments, exposure to a target alongside similar comparators failed to support selection of the target from novel test stimuli to a greater degree than exposure alongside dissimilar comparators or repeated target exposure alone. The current results suggest that the facilitatory effects of comparison during exposure may be limited to improving discrimination between exposed stimuli, and thus our results do not support the idea that providing the opportunity for comparison is a practical means for improving face identification.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Comparators, Face recognition, Face, Perceptual learning, Experimental design, Human learning, Analysis of variance, Bayesian method
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2017 14:55
Last Modified: 04 May 2022 15:43
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/702481

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