Outline and evaluate Bruce and Young's theory of face recognition

669 WordsOct 24, 20133 Pages
The face recognition model developed by Bruce and Young has eight key parts and it suggests how we process familiar and unfamiliar faces, including facial expressions. The diagram below shows how these parts are interconnected. Structural encoding is where facial features and expressions are encoded. This information is translated at the same time, down two different pathways, to various units. One being expression analysis, where the emotional state of the person is shown by facial features. By using facial speech analysis we can process auditory information. This was shown by McGurk (1976) who created two video clips, one with lip movements indicating 'Ba' and other indicating 'Fa'. Both clips had the sound 'Ba' played over the clip.…show more content…
It is also unclear if it is the brain injury itself that causes the result and if it is the same for healthy people. There was a study done by Young, Hay, and Ellis (1985) that uses people with no medical issues. They asked people to keep a diary record of problems they experienced in face recognition. They found people never reported putting a name to a face while knowing nothing else about that person. This supports the model as it suggests that we cannot think of a person's name unless we know other contextual information about them. Prosopagnosia is a condition where a person cannot recognise familiar faces, but only the features, not the whole face. The condition contradicts the model as it suggests that the process are most likely not separate. As most patients had severe problems with facial expression as well as facial identity, this suggests they are processed separately. The model can also be seen as reductionist, as it only gives a vague description of what the cognitive system does. However, there is research that does support the concept that there are two are separate paths for processing face recognition and facial expression. One being Humphreys, Avidan, and Behrmann (2007) who studied three participants with developmental prosopagnosia. All three had poor ability to recognise faces, but their ability to recognise facial expressions was similar to that of healthy

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