September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Intrinsic Memorability Predicts Short- and Long-Term Memory of Static and Dynamic Faces
Author Affiliations
  • Mintao Zhao
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
  • Isabelle Bülthoff
    Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 698. doi:
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      Mintao Zhao, Isabelle Bülthoff; Intrinsic Memorability Predicts Short- and Long-Term Memory of Static and Dynamic Faces. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):698.

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

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Does a face itself determine how well it will be recognized? Unlike many previous studies that have linked face recognition performance to individuals’ face processing ability (e.g., holistic processing), the present study investigated whether recognition of natural faces can be predicted by the faces themselves. Specifically, we examined whether short- and long-term recognition memory of both dynamic and static faces can be predicted according to face-based properties. Participants memorized either dynamic (Experiment 1) or static (Experiment 2) natural faces, and recognized them with both short- and long-term retention intervals (three minutes vs. seven days). We found that the intrinsic memorability of individual faces (i.e., the rate of correct recognition across a group of participants) consistently predicted an independent group of participants’ performance in recognizing the same faces, for both static and dynamic faces and for both short- and long-term face recognition memory. This result indicates that intrinsic memorability of faces is bound to face identity rather than image properties. Moreover, we also asked participants to judge subjective memorability of faces they just learned, and to judge whether they were able to recognize the faces in late test. The result shows that participants can extract intrinsic face memorability at encoding. Together, these results provide compelling evidence for the hypothesis that intrinsic face memorability predicts natural face recognition, highlighting that face recognition performance is not only a function of individuals’ face processing ability, but also determined by intrinsic properties of faces.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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