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Best face forward: Similarity effects in repetition priming of face recognition

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Two experiments examined the graded similarity effect in the repetition priming of familiar face recognition. From the model of repetition priming proposed by Burton, Bruce, and Johnston (1990) it was predicted that similarity effects may be a confound of stimulus preparation. Experiment 1 was used to discount this hypothesis, but failed to replicate a pattern of graded priming related to the similarity of prime and target faces. Experiment 2 attempted a more extensive investigation using two different measures of prime–target similarity. The results replicated Ellis, Young, Flude, and Hay's (1987) finding that similar primes confer more priming than dissimilar ones, but found no correlation between amount of priming and the degree of prime–target resemblance for either similarity metric used. In view of these findings the mechanism of repetition priming in familiar face recognition is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713755976

Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK 2: University of Cardiff, Cardiff, UK

Publication date: May 1, 2001

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