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The role of active exploration of 3D face stimuli on recognition memory of facial information

Liu, Chang Hong; Ward, James; Markall, Helena


Chang Hong Liu

James Ward

Helena Markall


Research on face recognition has mainly relied on methods in which observers are relatively passive viewers of face stimuli. This study investigated whether active exploration of three-dimensional (3D) face stimuli could facilitate recognition memory. A standard recognition task and a sequential matching task were employed in a yoked design. Observers in the active condition explored 3D views of faces via a mouse or joystick during the training and test sessions of the task, whereas observers in the passive condition simply viewed the replay of the same sequence of face stimuli generated by the active observers. It was found that the active condition produced better recognition accuracy than the passive condition. The study provides the first evidence that active exploration of 3D face stimuli can lead to better face recognition memory and matching performance.


Liu, C. H., Ward, J., & Markall, H. (2007). The role of active exploration of 3D face stimuli on recognition memory of facial information. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33(4), 895-904.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2007-08
Print ISSN 0096-1523
Electronic ISSN 0096-1523
Publisher American Psychological Association
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 33
Issue 4
Pages 895-904
Keywords Face recognition; Active exploration; Three dimensional; Recognition memory
Public URL
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