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Virginie Burns, Guillaume Lalonde-Beaudoin, Justin Duncan, Stéphanie Bouchard, Caroline Blais, Daniel Fiset; Individual differences in face identification correlate with face detection ability. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):929. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.929.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Our brain is tuned to detect, identify and integrate social information conveyed by faces. Despite the crucial role of face detection, little is known about the visual processes underlying this endeavor and how it is related to face identification. Recently, Xu and Biederman (2014) presented a case of acquired prosopagnosia with a face-specific detection impairment. Compared with controls, MJH needs significantly more visual signal for face detection, but not for car detection. Thus, we hypothesized that there may exist a correlation between face identification and detection proficiency in normal adults. Forty-five participants (24 women) performed the Cambridge Face Memory Test (CFMT; Duchaine, & Nakayama, 2006), the Cambridge Face Perception Test (CFPT; Duchaine, Germine, & Nakayama, 2007), and the Glasgow Face Memory Test (GFMT; Burton, White, & McNeil, 2010). They also completed two detection tasks : a face detection task and a car detection task. The power spectra were equalized across face and car stimuli. Individual face identification abilities were calculated by computing a weighted average of CFMT, GFMT, and CFPT scores (the latter of which was negatively scored). Face and car detection abilities were reflected by their respective detection thresholds, defined as phase spectrum coherence (as per Xu and Biederman, 2014). We observed a negative correlation between face identification ability scores and face detection thresholds (r = -.47 p< .01), which remained significant when computing the Spearman correlation (rs = -.42, p< .01). The correlation also remained significant when controlling for car detection ability (r = -.371, p< .05). Our results suggest that face detection and face identification share some perceptual or cognitive resources. More research will be needed to better understand what exactly is shared between these two tasks.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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