Recognising familiar faces out of context

Laurence, Sarah; Eyre, Jordyn and Strathie, Ailsa (2021). Recognising familiar faces out of context. Perception, 50(2) pp. 132–139.



Expertise in familiar face recognition has been well-documented in several studies. Here we examined the role of context using a surprise lecturer recognition test. Across two experiments we found few students recognised their lecturer when they were unexpected, but accuracy was higher when the lecturer was preceded by a prompt. Our findings suggest familiar face recognition can be poor in unexpected contexts.

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