, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 63-68

Matching familiar and unfamiliar faces on identity and expression

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Subjects were asked to decide whether or not simultaneously presented photographs of pairs of faces were pictures of the same person or of different people (identity matching), or to decide whether or not the pairs of face showed the same expressions or different expressions (expression matching). Faces of familiar and unfamiliar people were used as stimuli. For identity matching, reaction times to familiar faces were faster than reaction times to unfamiliar faces, but there was no difference between familiar and unfamiliar faces for expression matching. These results support the view derived from neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies that analyses of facial expressions proceed independently from processes involved in establishing the person's identity.

This research was supported by the ESRC (Grant C 0023 2075)