Can massive but passive exposure to faces contribute to face recognition abilities?

Galit Yovel, Keren Halsband, Michel Pelleg, Naomi Farkash, Bracha Gal, Yonatan Goshen-Gottstein
2012 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance  
Recent studies have suggested that individuation of other-race faces is more crucial for enhancing recognition performance than exposure that involves categorization of these faces to an identityirrelevant criterion. These findings were primarily based on laboratory training protocols that dissociated exposure and individuation by using categorization tasks. However, the absence of enhanced recognition following categorization may not simulate key aspects of real-life massive exposure without
more » ... dividuation to other-race faces. Real-life exposure spans years of seeing a multitude of faces, under variant conditions, including expression, view, lighting and gaze, albeit with no subcategory individuation. However, in most real-life settings, massive exposure operates in concert with individuation. An exception to that are neonatology nurses, a unique population that is exposed to-but do not individuate-massive numbers of newborn faces. Our findings show that recognition of newborn faces by nurses does not differ from adults who are rarely exposed to newborn faces. A control study showed that the absence of enhanced recognition cannot be attributed to the relatively short exposure to each newborn face in the neonatology unit or to newborns' apparent homogeneous appearance. It is therefore the quality-not the quantity-of exposure that determines recognition abilities.
doi:10.1037/a0027077 pmid:22288697 fatcat:t2wucc4fxfd3tmykkqhjdrmxmq