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Cross-modal interaction can modulate face distinctiveness

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Bülthoff,  I
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Newell,  FN
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Bülthoff, I., & Newell, F. (2006). Cross-modal interaction can modulate face distinctiveness. Poster presented at 29th European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP 2006), St. Petersburg, Russia.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-D0A7-0
Abstract
We had shown that memory for a face can be influenced by the distinctiveness of an utterance to which it has been associated (Bülthoff and Newell, 2004 Perception 33 Supplement, 108). Furthermore, recognition of a face can be primed by a paired utterance, suggesting that there is a tight, cross-modal coupling between visual and auditory stimuli and that face distinctiveness can be influenced by cross-modal interaction with auditory stimuli like utterances. When instrumental sounds are used instead of utterances, the perceptual quality of auditory stimuli seemed also to affect memory for faces. Here we further investigated whether instrumental sounds can also prime face recognition. Our results show that this is not the case; arbitrary auditory stimuli do not prime recognition of faces. This suggests that utterances are easier to associate closely with faces than arbitrary sounds. We also investigated whether the observed priming effect of utterances might have been based on the use of different first names in each utterance. We repeated the priming experiment using the same utterances, but name information was removed. A significant priming effect was observed. Thus the semantic information related to the first name is not decisive for the priming effect of utterances on face recognition.