October 6, 2022

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Osoby szczególnie wprawne w rozpoznawaniu twarzy zapamiętują je po fragmentach - przekonują w najnowszym numerze czasopisma "Psychological Science" australijscy naukowcy. Wyniki ich badań podważają dotychczasowe przekonanie, że tajemnica wysokich zdolności poznawania i pamiętania twarzy innych osób leży w postrzeganiu ich jako całości. Wydaje się, że w praktyce jest inaczej, wprawny mózg zapamiętuje obraz złożony z kawałków, jak puzzle. I oczy w tym obrazie wcale nie są najważniejsze.

We recognize faces better… by piece

In the latest issue of Psychological Science, Australian scientists argue that people especially skilled at recognizing faces remember them through fragments. Their research findings challenge the belief that the secret to a superior ability to recognize and remember other people’s faces lies in perceiving them as a whole. In practice, a skilled mind seems to remember an image made up of pieces, like a puzzle. And the eyes in this picture are not the most important at all.

It has long been thought that in order to remember someone’s face we must perceive them as a whole, our research has shown, however, that especially skilled people can recognize faces even from small fragments. This indicates that they can evoke the overall impression from the parts of the image, It should not be based on an overview Dr James Dunn, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, says the study’s first author.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales and the University of Wollongong conducted experiments involving people with exceptional facial recognition skills and those who interact with it on average. The extent to which these abilities were preserved was verified when only small parts of the face were exposed. It turned out not only that these abilities were not weakened, but it was observed that they were still honing, a The most talented people, for example, look into the eyes of people who have known them for a shorter time than others.

It seems that people who are very skilled at recognizing faces do not approach it in a radically different way than others, but they focus on some important aspects, which improves their accuracy – Adds Dr. Dunn. 37 people with special skills in facial recognition and 68 people with average were invited to the experiment. They were given 12 alien faces to display on a computer screen. They had 5 seconds each, but with the help of a gaze-tracking device, the image was modified so that only the part they were looking at was the focus. Their field of view was also changed from the widest, covering 60 percent of the face, to the narrowest, at 12 percent.

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In the second phase of the experiment, participants were asked to select 12 of the 24 faces they were shown. The “primaries” actually fared better, regardless of whether they saw wider or narrower portions of individual faces during the first stage. There were also no particular observation patterns they used, other than the fact that, on average, they looked in the eye for a shorter period of time. This may have given them an opportunity to focus more on other parts of the face that provide more identifying information.

Until now, the common belief was that looking into the eyes is the key to facial recognition, but it seems best to focus on other distinguishing features. It seems that A face can be better recognized by assembling it from pieces like puzzles, rather than recreating the entire image – Adds Dr. Dunn.