Face Recognition- Feature theory

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  • Face Recognition- Feature Theory
    • Bottom-up Theory
      • Cues from the face are analysed by the brain & visual cues of features, textures and shade will be enough to recognise the face
      • Faces are recognised as a set of parts arranged spacially
      • Faces can be identified from very little information
    • Internal & external features
      • Internal- eyes, brows, nose and mouth
      • External- head shape, hair and ears
      • Ellis et al
        • Unfamiliar faces rely on external features
        • Familiar faces rely on internal features
        • Supported by Bruce 2002
    • Sadre et al
      • 3 groups of participants with images lacking either eyes or eyebrows or an unaltered face
      • Performance on images that lacked eyebrows was a lot worse than for other conditions
    • Evaluation
      • Young & Hay- Cut famous faces into halves and combined 2 different halves. The composite forms a new holistic face
      • Capgras syndrome- Think people have been replaced by doubles
        • Information is stored with emotional and semantic information
      • Bruce & Valentine- scrambled faces take longer to identify
        • Must be holistic
      • Prosopagnosia
        • Can't recognise familiar faces
        • Studies show sufferers have no problem naming & describing individual features
          • Must be holistic
      • Yin- Inverted faces take longer to recognise because the relationship between the features cant be detected as easily. Must process features independently which takes longer
    • Shepard et al
      • Participants shown a picture of unfamiliar face than asked to describe it freely
      • Features most noted were: hair, eyes, nose, mouth, eyebrows, chin and forehead (in that order)
      • Lacks ecological validity & mundane realism as we normally see faces "live"


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