Cognitive Face Recognition Models Comparison Essay

Looks at the ability of the cognitive models of face recognition of Bruce and Young (1986) and Burton, Bruce and Johnston (1990) to clarify two case studies.
# 151749 | 2,340 words | 8 sources | APA | 2010 | ZA
Published on Sep 16, 2012 in Psychology (Social) , Psychology (Theory) , Psychology (Case Studies)

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This paper explains that the cognitive face recognition models of Bruce and Young (1986) and of Burton, Bruce and Johnston (1990) support rather than compete with one another. Next, the author relates a case in which a person mistakenly recognises different members of a race group other than her own as the same person; whereas, the second case describes the difficulty of a prosopagnosic patient in recognising faces despite his ability to distinguish between human and non-human faces and interpret facial expressions correctly. The paper concludes by evaluating how well each of the models are complementary in helping to analysis each case.

From the Paper:

"Case study one involves a young women who mistakenly identifies different individuals in an "exotic foreign location" as the same person. Semantic priming experiments done by Bruce & Valentine, as cited in Bruce & Young (1986) illustrate the influence of contextual information on face recognition. Recognition units can be primed by "distinctive background contexts" as well as recently having seen a person. The face recognition unit of the woman in our case study could therefore have been primed by being in a foreign location. Furthermore, she could have formed a rather vague associative memory made up out of the hair colour, skin colour, shape of eyes etc. of the agency staff member as Shapiro et al. (2006) suggests that people from different racial groups often finds it uncomfortable to do a careful analysis of the other's facial features. As a result, his features could have primed her facial recognition unit to subsequently perceive other males with similar facial characteristics as the same person. Case study two, on the other hand, describes someone who finds himself unable to recognise anyone's face. Although he was able to recognise people from their voices and names, suggesting well functioning personal identity nodes and his structural encoding processes were fairly undamaged, as indicated by face perception tests, his face recognition units no longer seem to 'recognise' faces."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bruce, V. & Young, A. (1986). Understanding face recognition. British Journal of Psychology, 77, 305 - 327.
  • Burton, A. M. & Bruce, V. (1992). I recognise your face but I can't remember your name: A simple explanation? British Journal of Psychology, 83, 45-60.
  • Burton, A.M, Bruce, V. & Johnston, R. A. (1990). Understanding face recognition with an interactive activation model. British Journal of Psychology, 81, 361 - 380.
  • Ellis, A.W. (1988). Human Cognitive Neuropsychology (pp. 87-111). Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Eysenck, M.W. & Keane, M. T. (1995). Cognitive Psychology: A Student's Handbook (3'rd Ed.). (pp 65 - 71). Hove: Psychology Press, LTD.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

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