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Gaze control and recollective experience in face recognition

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In two experiments, we examined the relation between gaze control and recollective experience in the context of face recognition. In Experiment 1, participants studied a series of faces, while their eye movements were eliminated either during study or test, or both. Subsequently, they made remember/know judgements for each recognized test face. The preclusion of eye movements impaired explicit recollection without affecting familiarity-based recognition. In Experiment 2, participants examined unfamiliar faces under two study conditions (similarity vs. difference judgements), while their eye movements were registered. Similarity vs. difference judgements produced the opposite effects on remember/know responses, with no systematic effects on eye movements. However, face recollection was related to eye movements, so that remember responses were associated with more frequent refixations than know responses. These findings suggest that saccadic eye movements mediate the nature of recollective experience, and that explicit recollection reflects a greater consistency between study and test fixations than familiarity-based face recognition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Publication date: 2006-07-01

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