Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
American Psychological Association
face processing, cognition, processing of own face, feature-holistic processing, expertise
The present work considers the mental imaging of faces, with a focus in own-face imaging. Experiments 1 and 3 demonstrated an own-face disadvantage, with slower generation of mental images of one’s own face than of other familiar faces. In contrast, Experiment 2 demonstrated that mental images of facial parts are generated more quickly for one’s own face. Finally, Experiment 4 established that a bias toward local processing is advantageous for one’s own face, whereas a global-processing bias produces an enhanced own-face disadvantage. The results suggest that own-face imaging is more synchronized with retrieval of face features and less attuned to a face’s holistic pattern than is imaging of other people’s faces. The authors propose that the salient information for own and other face identification reflects, in part, differences in the purpose and experiences (expertise) generally associated with processing of own and other faces. Consistent with work examining the range of face processing, including other-race faces, our results suggest that not all faces receive the same holistic emphasis.
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Greenberg, S. N., & Goshen-Gottstein, Y. (2009). Not all faces are processed equally: Evidence for featural rather than holistic processing of ones own face in a face-imaging task. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35 (2), 499-508. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014640