Facial expressions of emotion influence memory for facial identity in an automatic way

Arnaud D'Argembeau, Martial Van der Linden
2007 Emotion  
Previous studies indicate that the encoding of new facial identities in memory is influenced by the type of expression displayed by the faces. In the current study, we investigated whether or not this influence requires attention to be explicitly directed towards the affective meaning of facial expressions. In a first experiment, we found that facial identity was better recognized when the faces were initially encountered with a happy rather than an angry expression, even when attention was
more » ... n attention was oriented towards facial features other than expression. Using the Remember/Know/Guess paradigm in a second experiment, we found that the influence of facial expressions on the conscious recollection of facial identity was even more pronounced when participants' attention was not directed towards expressions. It is suggested that the affective meaning of facial expressions automatically modulates the encoding of facial identity in memory.
doi:10.1037/1528-3542.7.3.507 pmid:17683207 fatcat:lyeovfhfjvftdi7clxxmjsmx5u