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Title: Facial Emotions Improve Face Discrimination Learning
Authors: Lorenzino, Martina
Caudek, Corrado
Keywords: Face discriminationTask-irrelevant perceptual learningEmotionsContrast discrimination
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Martina Lorenzino, Corrado Caudek, "Facial Emotions Improve Face Discrimination Learning" in: Paolo Bernardis, Carlo Fantoni, Walter Gerbino (eds.) "TSPC2014. Proceedings of the Trieste Symposium on Perception and Cognition, November 27-28", Trieste, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014, pp. 72-75.
Abstract: How visual experience modulates the ability to discriminate faces from one another is still poorly understood. The aim of this study is to investigate whether emotions may favor face discrimination learning. To this purpose, we measured face discrimination thresholds before and after a training phase, where participants are exposed to (task-irrelevant) subtle variations in face images from trial to trial. A task-irrelevant perceptual learning paradigm was used because it closely mimics the learning processes that daily occur, without a conscious intention to learn and without a focused attention on specific facial features. During the four sessions of training, participants performed a contrast-discrimination task on face images. The task-irrelevant features were face images variations along the morphing continuum of facial identity (Identity group) or face images variations along the morphing continuum of emotional expressions (Emotion group). A group of participants (Control group) did not perform the contrast training, but their face discrimination thresholds were measured with the same temporal gap between them as the other two groups. Results indicate a face discrimination improvement only for the Emotion group. Participants in the Emotion Group showed a discrimination improvement when tested with variations along the dimension of identity and with variations along the dimension of expression, even if identity variations were not used during training. The present results suggest a role of emotions in face discrimination learning and show that faces, differently from the other classes of stimuli, may manifest a higher degree of learning transfer.
eISBN: 978-88-8303-610-1
Appears in Collections:TSPC2014: Proceedings of the Trieste Symposium on Perception and Cognition, November 27th-28th 2014

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