September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Free
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Visual Working Memory Capacity for Own- and Other-race Faces: Effects of Set Size and Face Features
Author Affiliations
  • Yongna Li
    Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China
  • Weiying Li
    Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China
  • Zhe Wang
    Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 670. doi:10.1167/15.12.670
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      Yongna Li, Weiying Li, Zhe Wang; Visual Working Memory Capacity for Own- and Other-race Faces: Effects of Set Size and Face Features. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):670. doi: 10.1167/15.12.670.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Both the number of item to-be-memorized and the complexity of each item contributes to the limited capacity of visual working memory. As a special complex object, visual working memory of human faces has been found to be affected by many factors. The current experiment examined how race, set size of study array, and face feature types (internal feature only vs. both internal and external features) played a role in a delayed match-to-sample probe recognition task. In this task, participants first studied a set of faces (either two or four faces in each condition), they then had to judge whether a probe face was a studied one or a new one by keypressing after a 900-ms retention interval. Results indicated interactions of race, set size, and feature type. For own-race (Chinese) faces, visual working memory capacity estimated by Cowan’s K increased for faces with both internal and external features when two faces were displayed in the study array but decreased when four faces were displayed. For other-race (Caucasian) faces, visual working memory capacity increased for faces with both internal and external features in both two- and four-face conditions. This suggests that representations of own- and other-race faces in visual working memory are affected by different factors in different manners. However, people can retain same amount of information in visual working memory for own- and other-race faces. External face feature may increase visual working memory capacity by increasing the resolution of face representations.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015

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