I'd know that face anywhere!




Gruppuso, Vincenza

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The empirical studies reported used the remember/know paradigm to assess the effects of manipulating the number of exposures, delay, and context on the phenomenology of face recognition. In this paradigm, participants classified recognized faces according to the type of memorial awareness for prior occurrence. If recognition was based on the retrieval of episodic information such as context information, then participants indicated that they remembered the face. In contrast, if recognition was based on a feeling of familiarity without the recall of specifying information (i.e., an undifferentiated feeling of familiarity), then participants indicated that they knew the face. Dual-process approaches to understanding remember and know states of awareness and the memorial processes (i.e., recollection (R) and familiarity (F)) that buttress them include those in which there exists (a) an exclusive relationship between processes (i.e., R processes underpin remember responses, and F processes underpin know responses); and, (b) an independent relationship between processes (i.e., remembering is a function of R, and, knowing is a function of F in the absence of R). In contrast, the single-process perspective explains response differences in terms of differences in trace strength of familiarity. Initial increases in strength of familiarity may be sufficient to recognize a face and to state that one knows it. If additional specifying information becomes available, familiarity for the face becomes stronger and a remember response is provided. The model of recognition promoted in these studies includes aspects of the above approaches. The studies were designed to evaluate predictions following from a functionalist account of recognition memory. This model of recognition memory is based on the notion of independent memory attributes. When retrieval of a particular piece of encoded memory information can fulfil the goal of a task (e.g., identify source), that particular attribute contributes to an estimate of R. If it fails to do so, but elicits a feeling of oldness, then the information contributes to an estimate of F. Thus, retrieved information can contribute to either R or F but never to both within a particular task. Across tasks, memory attributes are free to contribute to the same or different process. Thus, in the functional view, R and F are post hoc classifications. In addition, it also suggests that, in general, processes that contribute to R may not be qualitatively different from those that contribute to F. In Experiments 1 and 2, delay between study and test was manipulated to test the prediction that retroactive interference would contribute to the disruption of integrated memory attributes. This type of memory information would likely contain target face information bound to context information (e.g., information about the study room). While the retrieval of face-plus-context information on an immediate test would contribute to an estimate of R, the retrieval of face-only information would contribute to an estimate of F. Context was manipulated in Experiments 3 and 4. Each face was studied with a unique context photograph. At test, target faces in Experiment 3 were presented with either a studied or new context. Experiment 4 included an additional condition in which target faces were paired with switched contexts. In the studied context condition, memory processes that encoded face and context information would likely be re-enacted, promote a subjective experience of remembering, and, thus, contribute to an estimate of R. In contrast, in the switched and new context conditions, retrieved information about the face only may contribute to a feeling of oldness and an estimate of F. The results for know responding in Experiments 2, 3, and 4 provided support for the functional model. In Experiment 1, F for repeated items was unaffected by the delay, and in Experiment 2 it was reduced by the delay. The latter result suggested that there were more items on the immediate test that contributed to an estimate of F and were then forgotten on the delayed test than were items that initially contributed to an estimate of R and later contributed to an estimate of F. In the final two experiments, the change in context at test had no effect on estimates of F. While this latter result does not provide definitive support for the functional model of recognition memory it, as well as the reduction in estimates of R, does support the notion of independent processes.



Face perception, Memory, Recognition