Item Open AccessWithin-Person Variability Contributes to More Durable Learning of Faces(Canadian Psychological Association, 2022-05-19) Corpuz, Rebekah L.; Oriet, ChrisExposure to the natural, unsystematic within-person variability present across different encounters with a face (e.g., differences in emotion, make-up, and hairstyle) increases the likelihood the face will be recognized despite changes in appearance. In most studies, participants’ memories are tested with a matching task administered shortly after exposure to a set of training images. In the real world, however, the time between when a face is first encountered and when it needs to be identified can be much longer. We hypothesized that in addition to facilitating acquisition of a representation of a face, unsystematic variability might also lead to better retention. To test this, in two experiments participants were randomly assigned to one of three training conditions: a) no variability (still image), b) systematic variability (changes in camera angle and pose in an otherwise constant setting), and c) unsystematic variability (changes in hairstyle, makeup, clothing, and setting). Participants completed a sorting task 15 minutes and 5 days after viewing the target identity. Unsystematic variability led to better recognition than systematic variability, and this benefit was not reduced after a 5 day delay. Although participants expected their memory to be worse with a 5 day delay than with a 15 minute delay, both overall accuracy and the advantage for training with unsystematic variability were virtually unaffected. The results suggest that exposure to unsystematic variability influences not only the initial acquisition of faces, but also contributes to establishing a durable, flexible representation of faces in memory. Item Open AccessCan change detection succeed when change localization fails?(American Psychological Association, 2020-07-02) Oriet, Chris; Giesinger, Candice; Stewart, Kaiden M.Statistical summary representations (SSRs) are thought to be computed by the visual system to provide a rapid summary of the properties of sets of similar objects. Recently, it has been suggested that a change in the statistical properties of a set can be identified even when changes to the individual items comprising the set cannot. Haberman and Whitney (2011) showed that subjects were correctly able to report which of two consecutively presented sets of faces was, on average, happier, even when participants were unable to localize any of the items contributing to this change. In this paper, we revisit this conclusion, and suggest that the results supporting it may be an artifact of the paradigm used. In four experiments we find little evidence to suggest that subjects can reliably detect a change in the average size or emotion of an array of faces when they are unable to localize changes to individual items. The results are well accounted for by assuming that observers are selectively attending to individual items and then inferring the direction of the overall change based on the behaviour of the attended items. We suggest that this occurs because change localization requires focused attention to individual items, impeding calculation of SSRs which requires global attention to the entire set. We conclude that there is currently little evidence that SSRs can facilitate change detection when individual change localization fails. Item Open AccessIncidental statistical summary representation over time(Arvo, 2016-02-01) Oriet, Chris; Hozempa, KadieInformation taken in by the human visual system allows individuals to form statistical representations of sets of items. One's knowledge of natural categories includes statistical information, such as average size of category members and the upper and lower boundaries of the set. Previous research suggests that when subjects attend to a particular dimension of a set of items presented over an extended duration, they quickly learn about the central tendency of the set. However, it is unclear whether such learning can occur incidentally, when subjects are not attending to the relevant dimension of the set. The present study explored whether subjects could reproduce global statistical properties of a set presented over an extended duration when oriented to task-irrelevant properties of the set. Subjects were tested for their memory of its mean, its smallest and largest exemplars, the direction of its skew, and the relative distribution of the items. Subjects were able to accurately recall the average size circle, as well as the upper and lower boundaries of a set of 4,200 circles displayed over an extended period. This suggests that even without intending to do so, they were encoding and updating a statistical summary representation of a task-irrelevant attribute of the circles over time. Such incidental encoding of statistical properties of sets is thus a plausible mechanism for establishing a representation of typicality in category membership. Item Open AccessVisual similarity in masking and priming: The critical role of task relevance(University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, 2007) Enns, James T.; Oriet, ChrisCognitive scientists use rapid image sequences to study both the emergence of conscious perception (visual masking) and the unconscious processes involved in response preparation (masked priming). The present study asked two questions: (1) Does image similarity influence masking and priming in the same way? (2) Are similarity effects in both tasks governed by the extent of feature overlap in the images or only by task-relevant features? Participants in Experiment 1 classified human faces using a single dimension even though the faces varied in three dimensions (emotion, race, sex). Abstract geometric shapes and colors were tested in the same way in Experiment 2. Results showed that similarity reduced the visibility of the target in the masking task and increased response speed in the priming task, pointing to a double-dissociation between the two tasks. Results also showed that only task-relevant (not objective) similarity influenced masking and priming, implying that both tasks are influenced from the beginning by intentions of the participant. These findings are interpreted within the framework of a reentrant theory of visual perception. They imply that intentions can influence object formation prior to the separation of vision for perception and vision for action. Item Open AccessFrom Pictures to the People in Them: Averaging Within-Person Variability Leads to Face Familiarization(SAGE Publications, 2022-12-05) Koca, Yaren; Oriet, ChrisFamiliar faces can be confidently recognized despite sometimes radical changes in their appearance. Exposure to within-person variability—differences in facial characteristics over successive encounters—contributes to face familiarization. Research also suggests that viewers create mental averages of the different views of faces they encounter while learning them. Averaging over within-person variability is thus a promising mechanism for face familiarization. In Experiment 1, 153 Canadian undergraduates (88 female; age: M = 21 years, SD = 5.24) learned six target identities from eight different photos of each target interspersed among 32 distractor identities. Face-matching accuracy improved similarly irrespective of awareness of the target’s identity, confirming that target faces presented among distractors can be learned incidentally. In Experiment 2, 170 Canadian undergraduates (125 female; age: M = 22.6 years, SD = 6.02) were tested using a novel indirect measure of learning. The results show that viewers update a mental average of a person’s face as it becomes learned. Our findings are the first to show how averaging within-person variability over time leads to face familiarization.