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You can memorise faces in a single glance without trying

You can memorise faces in a single glance without trying

You can memorise faces in a single glance without trying

Full article issued by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function.

A research team based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function, and including ARC Future Fellow Naotsugu Tsuchiya, has shown that our incidental memory of people's faces is very accurate, even if they have only been glanced at before.

The researchers used a method called rapid serial visual presentation to display sequences of different faces very quickly in the centre of a screen. Participants were asked to search for specific faces in these sequences and to respond as quickly as possible when a target face appeared. If a participant responded correctly, the researchers tested their incidental memory by presenting two more faces—one that the participant had never seen before, and one that had appeared in the sequence much earlier than the target face. Participants were asked to differentiate between the two faces and to rate their confidence in the response, to show that they were conscious of incidental memory and weren’t just making a series of lucky guesses.

The ease with which participants were able to identify faces seen before demonstrates that incidental memory, even from just a single glance, is surprisingly powerful and, in some instances, explicit memorisation isn’t that helpful.

 

 

Image Credit: Dom J/Pexels

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