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Journal Article

Why are moving faces easier to recognize?

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Lander, K., & Chuang, L. (2005). Why are moving faces easier to recognize? Visual Cognition, 12(3), 429-442. doi:10.1080/13506280444000382.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-D5CF-E
Previous work has suggested that seeing a famous face move aids the recognition of identity, especially when viewing conditions are degraded (Knight Johnston, 1997; Lander, Christie, Bruce, 1999). Experiment 1 investigated whether the beneficial effects of motion are related to a particular type of facial motion (expressing, talking, or rigid motion). Results showed a significant beneficial effect of both expressive and talking movements, but no advantage for rigid motion, compared with a single static image. Experiment 2 investigated whether the advantage for motion is uniform across identity. Participants rated moving famous faces for distinctiveness of motion. The famous faces (moving and static freeze frame) were then used as stimuli in a recognition task. The advantage for face motion was significant only when the motion displayed was distinctive. Results suggest that a reason why moving faces are easier to recognize is because some familiar faces have characteristic motion patterns, which act as an additional cue to identity.