Host: The Japanese Society for Cognitive Psychology
We examined whether imagining faces seen from new viewpoints improves following face recognition from those viewpoints. Participants remembered a learning stimulus (frontal face; 0°) presented for four seconds and then saw a test stimulus (0°, 30°, or 60°) to make a same-or-different judgment. A cue representing the viewpoint of the test stimulus appeared before or at the onset of the test stimulus. The results showed that for “same” pairs, the preceding cues improved performances on face recognition for the 0° and 30° conditions but impaired performance for the 60° condition. For “different” pairs, however, no effects of the cues were observed. These results indicate that faces seen from viewpoints similar to learned ones are relatively easy to imagine, but such imagination hinders recognition of faces seen from very different viewpoints. This detrimental effect has not been reported for mental rotation of objects, suggesting the involvement of processing unique to faces.