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Meeting Abstract

Non-rigid Facial Motion Facilitates Identity Processing


Pilz,  K
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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Pilz, K. (2004). Non-rigid Facial Motion Facilitates Identity Processing. In 5. Neurowissenschaftliche Nachwuchskonferenz Tübingen (NeNa 2004) (pp. 17).

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-D88B-E
The question of whether non-rigid motion of the face has any impact on the processing of identity has so far led to contradictory results. Particularly with unfamiliar faces, it is not yet clear, whether non-rigid motion facilitates recognition. Most studies to-date have adopted old/new recognition tasks to investigate the impact of non-rigid motion, with some finding an advantage and others not. These differential outcomes raise concerns about the applicability of such a method. That is, an explicit recognition paradigm, such as an old/new recognition task, may encourage compressed or abstract coding and may not be feasible to explore the dynamic aspects of face recognition. Here, we tried a different approach. Subjects were familiarized with two faces, one moving, the other one a static picture, and later had to recognize them in a visual search task. During the search task all faces were presented as static. We found a clear reaction time advantage for faces learned as a dynamic sequence. The search slopes for both faces were the same, indicating that the search itself was equally efficient, whereas the process of identification was more robust in the dynamic case. This advantage seems to be due to the motion itself rather than any additional information provided by the moving sequence. These results not only show that non-rigid motion plays a role in identity processing and facilitates later recognition. They also further question the suitability of old/new recognition paradigms to study face recognition.