Exploring the role of characteristic motion when learning new faces

Karen Lander, Rebecca Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Previous research has shown that it is easier to recognize familiar faces when shown moving, rather than static, especially when viewing conditions are difficult (Knight & Johnston, 1997; Lander, Christie, & Bruce, 1999). One possible theoretical reason for the moving-face advantage is that we learn "characteristic motion signatures" for familiar faces, associated with the face representation in memory. To examine this idea we investigated the role of motion at test when learning faces from either static images or moving sequences (Experiment 1). Results suggest that there is only an advantage for motion at test when the face is learned moving. In Experiment 2 we map the importance of facial motion as a face becomes increasingly familiar, on a television drama. We demonstrate that the beneficial effect of motion is not dependent on the amount of time the face is viewed. Results from both experiments support the idea of rapidly learned characteristic motion patterns. © 2007 The Experimental Psychology Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)519-526
    Number of pages7
    JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


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