Face detection dissociates from face identification

Robertson, David J. and Jenkins, Rob and Burton, A. Mike (2017) Face detection dissociates from face identification. Visual Cognition. pp. 1-9. ISSN 1350-6285 (https://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2017.1327465)

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We describe three experiments in which viewers complete face detection tasks as well as standard measures of unfamiliar face identification. In the first two studies, participants view pareidolic images of objects (Experiment 1) or cloud scenes (Experiment 2), and their propensity to see faces in these scenes is measured. In neither case is performance significantly associated with identification, as measured by the Cambridge Face Memory or Glasgow Face Matching Tests. In Experiment 3 we show participants real faces in cluttered scenes. Viewers’ ability to detect these faces is unrelated to their identification performance. We conclude that face detection dissociates from face identification.