Recognising the ageing face: the role of age in face processing
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 18:28 authored by Patricia A George, Graham Hole
The effects of age-induced changes on face recognition were investigated as a means of exploring the role of age in the encoding of new facial memories. The ability of participants to recognise each of six previously learnt faces was tested with versions which were either identical to the learnt faces, the same age (but different in pose and expression), or younger or older in age. Participants were able to cope well with facial changes induced by ageing: their performance with older, but not younger, versions was comparable to that with faces which differed only in pose and expression. Since the large majority of different age versions were recognised successfully, it can be concluded that the process of recognition does not require an exact match in age characteristics between the stored representation of a face and the face currently in view. As the age-related changes explored here were those that occur during the period of growth, this in turn implies that the underlying structural physical properties of the face are (in addition to pose and facial expression) invariant to a certain extent.
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