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Ipek Oruc, Morteza Mousavi; Contributed Session II: Three new models to account for impact of racially-heterogenous face-diet on face expertise. Journal of Vision 2022;22(3):23. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.22.3.23.
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Racially-homogeneous environments provide limited experience with other-race faces (Oruc et al. 2019). According to the contact hypothesis, this, in part, leads to an impairment in other-race face recognition yet does not predict what impact a racially-heterogenous face-diet may have on face expertise. To complement and extend the contact hypothesis, we propose three new models: (1) the experience-limited, (2) the capacity-limited, and (3) the enhancement hypotheses, for the role of exposure in face expertise. Based on the experience-limited account native-level face recognition can be achieved for multiple races with sufficient experience. The capacity-limited account predicts exposure to multiple races may impact face expertise detrimentally. Lastly, the enhancement account posits advantages of a racially-heterogenous face-diet. In two experiments, we compared face recognition in a dual-exposure group with sustained high exposure to Caucasian and East Asian faces to two respective mono-exposure groups. We found native-like recognition in the dual-exposure group for both Caucasian and East Asian faces. Our results showed neither an advantage, nor a disadvantage for racially-heterogenous face exposure, hence supporting the experience-limited account of face expertise. We conclude that exposure to multiple face races is not detrimental to face recognition ability. To achieve native-level face expertise, a racially-homogenous face diet is not required.
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