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Charles Saavedra, Pamela Smith, Jessie Peissig; The Relative Role of Eyes, Eyebrows, and Eye Region in Face Recognition. Journal of Vision 2013;13(9):410. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/13.9.410.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Previous studies have shown that the eye region is critical for face recognition. However, there has been little done to explore the individual contribution of the eyes and eyebrows alone. The purpose of the current study is to expand on past research and consider the individual contributions of the eyes and eyebrows in face recognition. Twenty-nine individuals were asked to decide whether two faces shown in succession were the same person or different people. In the trials where the faces were the same, participants were presented with the original face twice or the original face and the same face with one of six digital manipulations. The manipulations consisted of either erasing or replacing the eye area, the eye, or the eyebrows in each face. Participants were also presented with an equal number of trials in which the faces were not the same. Overall, results showed that there was a significant main effect of condition on same trials. In comparison to the no manipulation condition, there was a significantly lower proportion correct value for the erased eyebrow condition; however, the changed eyebrow condition did not reach significance. Interestingly, the opposite relationship was found for conditions where the eye and eye area was either changed or erased. Results showed that participants exhibited a significantly lower proportion correct for the changed eye and eye region conditions; in contrast, the difference in the erased eye condition was not significantly different from original/original trials. These results suggest that both the eyes and eyebrows on their own are important for face recognition, but that their roles are different. While the eyebrows may be largely used as a place marker for estimating distances among the parts of the face, the eyes themselves are used primarily as a distinguishing face part.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2013
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