August 2023
Volume 23, Issue 9
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2023
The impact of eyeglasses on face identity perception
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hillary Nguyen
    Yale University
  • Marvin Chun
    Yale University
  • Yaoda Xu
    Yale University
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This research was supported by a National Institute of Health Grant (1R01EY030854) to Y.X.
Journal of Vision August 2023, Vol.23, 5544. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Hillary Nguyen, Marvin Chun, Yaoda Xu; The impact of eyeglasses on face identity perception. Journal of Vision 2023;23(9):5544.

      Download citation file:

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

  • Supplements

Face perception is a fundamental aspect of social cognition and shapes human interaction by guiding behavior and allowing individuals to extract and interpret information on identity and emotional states. How accessories such as eyeglasses may impact face recognition, however, has not been thoroughly studied. Here in a visual search task, we asked 28 participants to detect the presence of the face of one celebrity among a set of distractor faces from another celebrity (e.g., whether the face of Tom Cruise is present among the faces of Brad Pitt). A total of five different celebrity identities were included. The face images were shown either without glasses, with glasses placed in the eye region, or with glasses placed in the nose region for both the target and distractor faces. Search speed was significantly slower when glasses were present, regardless of their position, compared to when they were absent. Placing glasses on a face thus made it more difficult to extract the identity of the face. To understand whether the presence of glasses would also alter face identity representation, from the pairwise target-distractor search speed, we performed representational similarity analysis and found that the presence of glasses significantly changed the perceived similarity among the faces. Together, these results show that the presence of glasses not only hinders people’s ability to extract the identities of familiar faces but also changes how these faces may be perceived. Our study contributes to our knowledge of how glasses or disguise-intended accessories may impact face perception in the real world.


This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.